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Merri-bek City Council acknowledges we are in a state of climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including local councils, as well as all members of the community.

Our biggest sources of carbon emissions are energy consumption (electricity 58% and gas 23%), transport (16%) and waste generation (3%).  Emissions data for Merri-bek has been estimated by Snapshot.





What is Zero Carbon Merri-bek?Diagram of Zero Carbon Merri-bek

Zero Carbon Merri-bek is a community and council movement to achieve a safe climate for all of Merri-bek. More and more households, businesses and councils are facing the urgent challenge of responding to the climate emergency, together.

Zero Carbon Merri-bek was co-created by the Merri-bek City Council and the Merri-bek community. This collaboration led to the Zero Carbon Merri-bek Framework 2040 and the first five years Action Plan.

The strategy aims to engage all members of our community including residents, businesses, schools, local community groups, as well as Council itself, to take action to transition our community to zero carbon.

It is Council’s adopted goal for Merri-bek to achieve 75% emissions reduction by 2030 (against 2011/12 baseline), net zero by 2035 and drawdown (‘negative emissions’) by 2040. 

For Council (corporate/operational) emissions we have a highly ambitious target range of between 80 – 100% reduction by 2030 (precluding offsets, against 2011/12 baseline).

By working together we can create a safe climate and a thriving Merri-bek.

Our Zero Carbon Vision

Our Zero Carbon Merri-bek 2040 Framework sets out our Vision for what a zero carbon Merri-bek might look like.

Efficient and 100% renewably powered energy

  • The buildings we live and work in are highly energy efficient – well insulated and built or retrofitted for comfort
  • Households and businesses generate, store and export renewable electricity locally
  • The national grid is powered by 100% renewable energy
  • Homes and businesses are powered only by electricity, following a supported phase-out of gas
  • Residents and businesses are proactive and engaged energy users and help to manage demand by smart use of electricity and local storage
  • Energy is often generated and traded at a community level, so everyone can access local, renewable energy even if they cannot produce it on their home.

Active and zero emissions transport

  • Most people choose to walk or cycle to get around locally because it’s healthy, free, safe and convenient
  • Merri-bek is known for its pedestrian and cycle-friendly streetscapes
  • Many residents work, play and access services close to home, in ‘20-minute neighbourhoods’ designed to suit people (rather than cars)
  • Renewable-powered buses, trams and trains provide a quick, reliable and affordable way to travel
  • Use of electric ‘car/ride share’ services complement active travel and public transport options, helping to reduce private vehicle ownership
  • Low rates of private car ownership have seen some car parks converted to green and public open spaces
  • Clean and quiet freight trucks (fuelled by renewable hydrogen or electricity) complement ‘last mile’ freight delivery by bikes, electric scooters and vans.

Circular economy with zero waste

  • Households and food businesses avoid generating food waste (and save money!)
  • A ‘conscious consumer’ mindset is the norm and waste is seen as a resource. Consumption is reduced as the community reduces what it purchases, then re-uses, repurposes, recycles, and buys recycled
  • People enjoy low-carbon diets
  • Local reuse, exchange, share and recycling groups and services are thriving
  • Local businesses prosper by creating or providing sustainable goods and services
  • Many products are made from recycled materials and are easy to recycle in Australia
  • All organic waste is composted or processed to create other useful products (such as mulch, compost, biogas, biochar)