This afternoon the Shire of Augusta-Margaret River launches its next foray into local action on climate change. The Shire’s new climate action plan sets the ambitious target of the Shire itself becoming carbon neutral by 2030 and “encouraging” the community to do the same. Adopted earlier this year, the policy replaces the outdated Local Energy Action Plan and moves away from unattainable community targets to focus primarily on Shire emissions, while offering a range of strategies, education measures, sustainability grants, and additional lobbying to help drive a reduction in residential emissions. This afternoon’s forum is jointly hosted by the Augusta-Margaret River Clean Community Energy group developing a hybrid energy plant in Scott River with Shire support. It was hoped community uptake of green power, increasing use of electric vehicles, and waste- and energy-reduction measures would help hit the ambitious zero emissions target. “This plan identifies a wide range of actions for the Shire organisation and the community so that we can reduce emissions and achieve carbon-reduction targets,” Shire chief executive Stephanie Addison-Brown said. “We recognise that this is an issue that’s close to our community’s heart, and we’re proud to announce such a comprehensive and detailed plan to reach that net zero goal.”The Shire council declared a formal climate emergency on September 25, 2019, and signed the WA Local Government Association’s climate change declaration later that year. The new plan acknowledged “lack of community ownership” was a shortcoming of LEAP, which failed to meet its 2020 reduction targets. “The strengthening of our targets is a response to local community expectation, our declaration of a climate emergency and in anticipation of legislated targets,” the action plan said. “We have also prided ourselves on being a leader in this space and we wish to continue to inspire climate action on a larger scale.” AMRCCE will also launch Zero: Towards Zero Emissions, which is a Shire-supported zero per cent interest loans program for projects benefiting the climate.