Last Monday in Rome, the City of Sydney's renewable energy master plan was awarded the EUROSOLAR European Solar Prize 2014 award for excellence and innovation.
The award recognises outstanding commitment and contribution to the renewable energy sector, and significant contributions to expanding renewable energy use. My acceptance speech showcasing our solar installations is available to see by clicking here.
The President of Eurosolar, Peter Droege, said: "The City of Sydney's renewable energy master plan demonstrates civic vision, technological leadership and political courage.
"The plan demonstrates a commitment to a fully renewable energy based community and is a stellar model for other communities around the world to aspire to."
I'm extremely proud of the work we have done to promote renewable energy and reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions. We are already Australia's first carbon-neutral government and by 2030 we will have reduced our emissions by 70 per cent.
Cities produce about 80 per cent of climate pollution so action at the city level is essential. But while cities can do a lot, to avoid dangerous climate change our federal government needs to stop pandering to climate sceptics and act in the national interest. The national Renewable Energy Target must be retained and increased, a price on carbon must be (re)introduced, and public and active transport must be given increased funding, particularly in our urban areas.
Summer hasn't officially started, but we've already been experiencing extraordinary temperatures in Sydney. Just last weekend, Richmond reached 45.3 Celsius and Penrith reached 44.9 - both record highs. How much more evidence do we need that we are changing our climate? As US President Barack Obama reminded us: "We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it".
The EUROSOLAR prize is recognition that we at the City are doing something.
Read more about the prize by clicking here.