A shared vision for a carbon neutral Armidale LGA – Project Zero30 is underway / 9 March

A vision for a carbon neutral Armidale Local Government Area (LGA) will be a reality thanks to a new partnership between The University of New England (UNE), Armidale Regional Council (ARC), Business New England, and a passionate engaged community.

Working together as Project Zero30, Armidale and surrounding communities will be one of the first LGAs in Australia to take on the ambitious target of carbon neutrality as a precinct under the I. C. Climate Active Standard, a Commonwealth backed initiative to enable all levels of Australian society do their bit to reduce emissions.

Project Zero30 is guided by a Science Advisory Committee, a Community Advisory Committee and a Project Board, who will collaborate with communities and businesses in the LGA to deliver the project’s objectives.

The process will commence with the measurement of emissions produced over the 7807 square km of the LGA by UNE researchers. Professor Neil Argent and Dr Kara Tighe will produce a ‘carbon account’ to understand exactly where reductions can be achieved and how.

UNE Vice-Chancellor and CEO Professor Brigid Heywood said the university is proud to be playing a fundamental role in providing the science that will support Zero30’s objectives.

“It’s vital that this project is founded in strong science and I am proud that UNE’s researchers will play a pivotal role,” Professor Heywood said.

“As we all know, the Armidale region has faced very challenging conditions over the past three years with both the drought and bushfires and it’s particularly timely that we are joining this initiative to make an active contribution to reducing the impact of our city and region on the planet.

“Zero30 builds purposefully on UNE’s commitments to partnerships which make a difference to the communities that matter to us,” she said.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley said Council is keen to pursue environmentally sustainable options for local businesses and developers.

“Council’s top priority is to provide the Armidale region with the best possible services while ensuring our community is at the forefront of sustainable and environmentally friendly technology and practices,” he said.

“Through Project Zero30, Council will work with UNE and the whole community to put the Armidale region on the map for leading the way in addressing climate change.”

By 2030, some of the significant goals of the project include having 25 percent of the Armidale LGA’s buildings carbon certified, bringing winter air quality levels below the Department of Health’s guidelines, and planting 1 million trees to offset carbon usage.

UNE Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Heiko Daniel applauded the Zero30 project team in collaborating with the Armidale community, and other key agencies, to take significant action to tackle climate change.

“We don’t require further reminders that urgent and decisive climate action is needed, with a warming and hotter earth now a tangible threat to our society and everyone’s well-being,” Professor Daniel said.

About Zero30

Project Zero30 will achieve its goal of bringing the Armidale Regional Council’s Local Government Area to zero emissions through a unique partnership between science and the local community.

Zero30 will achieve certification of the Armidale Local Government Area through the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Precincts. The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard will help us to manage our greenhouse emissions and achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.