C40 Mayors: Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore

C40 Interview: Lord Mayor Clover Moore

Elected Sydney’s first popularly elected female Lord Mayor in 2004, Clover Moore has also been State MP for the electorate of Sydney since it was created in 2007. She was first elected in 1980 as South Sydney Councillor and subsequently Sydney City Councillor. She was elected state MP for Bligh from 1988. Clover works for a sustainable, safe and attractive urban environment, increased government accountability and transparency. Follow her on Twitter @clovermoore

C40 News Team :  What are your expectations for the C40 Cities Mayors Summit in Sao Paulo?

Lord Mayor Moore:The Australian Government’s Climate Commission last week released a review of the science of climate change.

It concluded that climate change is real, it is occurring at a rapid rate and “two degrees” is the maximum temperature change before our planet risks “tipping” into catastrophic climate change. This summit is a vital opportunity to learn about action taken in other cities to help us all reduce greenhouse gas emissions to future proof our planet.

C40 News Team: How do you evaluate C40’s role up to now? How will the Summit in Sao Paulo advance the work of the C40?

Lord Mayor Moore: At my first C40 Summit in 2007, President Bill Clinton told us that he admired Mayors because they got up in the mornings and did something. In the present climate, action is the most effective way to advocate urgently needed change in our cities.

The C40 has played an important role in allowing Mayors from around the world share information and programs to reduce emissions. This is so important as 50 percent of the world’s population live in our cities and cities are responsible for over 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

C40 News Team: What are the current flagship climate projects in your city?

Lord Mayor Moore: The City of Sydney is committed to innovative low carbon solutions, to share our research and to build partnerships for action. We were the first Australian local government to become carbon neutral in 2007 by buying green power and carbon offsets. We've since completed 18 solar projects, reducing emissions by 180 metric tonnes and we have established a $2 million per year renewable energy fund.

Through building retrofits we’ve reduced emissions by 17 percent across our property portfolio since 2006 and we’ve trialled low energy LED street lighting, showing it can halve energy use. We are installing the proven products on our 8,500 street lights and encouraging other authorities to follow suit across Sydney.

To remove reliance on coal-fired power, we will build a local tri-generation network for low-carbon power, heating and cooling. And we have a partnership with Sydney's largest landlords, who are also committed to reducing carbon emissions. Our tri-generation network is the central feature of our innovative Green Infrastructure Plan, which will deliver sustainable energy, water and waste infrastructure across our city.

We want our largest redevelopment site at Green Square, a former industrial area south of the business district, to be Australia’s first low carbon precinct.

In terms of City transport, we have researched and advocated light-rail extensions. We are building a $76 million 200 km bike network to achieve significant savings in congestion costs, noise and air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions – 55 kilometres will be separated cycleway.

Sydney has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions across our city area by 70 percent from 2006 levels, a target we are on track to meet.