The City of Sydney is committed to being an environmental leader. We've taken a strong position on advocacy and action - an approach we call "show by doing" and our work is being talked about around the world.
United Nations Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, last week praised the City's environmental policies, saying sustainable development must be the world's top priority. During his only official public appearance he urged climate change sceptics to visit Kiribati which is threatened by rising tides.
He said "Look no further than right here in Australia, the Sustainable Sydney initiative to reduce carbon emissions in this city by 70 percent over the next 20 years. These actions are vital on their own - but they can also inspire progress in the global negotiations, creating a virtuous cycle. This is a global race to save the planet. But it is also a race to see which countries and economies will forge the path to creating green sustainable jobs."
I am proud that the City I lead is committed to addressing climate change and that our work is gaining international recognition. We've developed our long term plan by talking to residents, businesses and visitors and thorough research - and three years on, we're well on track to meet our targets.
One of the actions in our plan focuses on greening the city and our draft Greening Sydney plan is now on public exhibition until 3 October.
Since 2004 we've already planted 7,000 new trees, with another 40,000 street and park trees planned to double our tree canopy over the next 20 years. We want to plant more street trees and establish green walls and community gardens for a greener city, improved air quality and more habitat for wildlife.
Greener cities are directly related to social, ecological and environmental benefits as well as economic advantages.Trees make cities healthier and more beautiful. They bring more people into parks and gardens, they make us cooler on a hot summer day and create places for natives wildlife to live.
A greener city also makes financial sense by reducing cooling costs and improving the viability of retail activity.
The projects contained in the Plan include six new programs to encourage resident participation such as greening shared gardens, verges and median strips and getting involved in community gardens, junior rangers and land care groups.
You can see the draft Greening Sydney Plan online or at the City's Neighbourhood Service Centres at Kent St central Sydney, Kings Cross, Glebe, Green Square and Redfern.
- Greening Sydney: www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/Council/OnExhibition/GreeningSydney.asp