Twenty one councils from across Western Australia have jointly called on the State Government to commit to a renewable energy target of 50 percent by 2030 and a 100 percent emissions reduction target by 2050.

At a forum hosted in Perth recently by the Climate Council’s Cities Power Partnership, the Western Australian councils cited the lack of a state-level renewable energy and emissions target as a major barrier to local work in tackling climate change.

Dr Brad Pettitt, mayor of Fremantle observed that the time was right for Western Australia to seize the opportunity to move forward on renewable energy. Local governments have already taken the lead to advocate for a target that matches the climate science; while the targets are ambitious, they are entirely doable with the right political leadership and investment decisions over the next decade, he said.

Pettitt added that the state government needed to step up and work with local government to realise the state’s potential as a renewable energy powerhouse as well as the opportunities for jobs and investment that go with it.

Councillor Naomi Godden from Augusta Margaret River says, “The Western Australian government is currently developing its climate policy and we are calling on the McGowan government to be bold, courageous and true to the science by committing to ambitious emissions reduction and renewable energy targets.

“Local governments and our communities are on the frontline of the climate crisis. The community in Augusta-Margaret River is already experiencing reduced rainfall and increased risk of fire causing great concern amongst residents. Our most vulnerable community members are most at risk such as low-income earners and independent farmers.

“We need leadership for urgent action by our state government and we feel these are the minimum targets that will get us there.”

While local governments were ready to go with renewables, Cities Power Partnership acting director Tracie Armstrong said a state target was crucial to support their work on climate change.

“The councils we spoke to today are primed and ready to tackle climate change, but without a state renewable energy and emissions reduction target, it’s difficult for them to attract the investment and support they need to get these projects underway,” she says.

“With a courageous state clean energy target that matches the climate science, Western Australia could swiftly become a renewables leader.”