For the past two weeks, the United Nations annual climate summit has been meeting in Lima, Peru. This summit is particularly important, as it is the last meeting before the critical Paris climate summit in 2015, where nations will agree on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
Like many Australians, I am watching our government's performance at the Lima climate summit with dismay. The World Meteorological Organisation says 2014 is on track to be the hottest on record, but the Australian delegation continues to resist calls for greater action to avoid dangerous climate change. We are becoming a pariah on the international stage.
Despite the lack of leadership at a federal and state level to reduce greenhouse emissions, the City of Sydney will continue to do what we can. On Monday night, Council endorsed our latest project: the installation of a trigeneration plant in Town Hall that will produce low-carbon energy for power, heating and cooling at Sydney Town Hall and the City's offices.
The trigeneration plant will slash our whole organisation's carbon emissions by three per cent a year. It will save around $320,000 a year on our energy bills and this money can be re-invested in delivering services to the community. And by further demonstrating that trigeneration works, we will encourage others to take it up.
The City joins a lengthening list of organisations that are already using the technology, including Qantas, Google, 1 Bligh Street, Stockland's headquarters at 133 Castlereagh Street, Origin Energy's headquarters at 20 Bond Street, and the Rooty Hill RSL. Other Councils have already installed trigeneration, including Willoughby, Wagga, North Sydney and Leichhardt Councils. Waverley Council is currently investigating the installation of trigeneration in Bondi Junction.
Cities are responsible for about 80 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions. Initiatives such as installing trigeneration help us meet our Sustainable Sydney 2030 target of reducing our emissions 70 per cent against 2006 levels by 2030 - a real contribution to global efforts to avoid dangerous climate change.