Carbon Neutral Green Washing

The City of Fremantle was the second Australian city after Sydney to claim Carbon Neutrality back in 2009.  This was a little surprising at the time as Mayor Pettitt made the announcement within months of being sworn in as Mayor. 

Sydney was the first Australian City to achieve carbon neutral status in 2009 and was also first to seek carbon neutral certification under the federal government Climate Active (formerly NCOS) regulations in 2010.  It has now achieved a 25% reduction in its emissions between 2010 and 2019 and it should be applauded for taking such action. 

By comparison, the City of Fremantle’s own figures show a pattern of rising emissions, with emissions up a massive 84% since 2010!

In 2010 the City of Fremantle engaged independent carbon consultants Perenia to certify their emissions. Perenia estimated the City’s emissions at 3,486 tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent [t CO2e]. In 2019 the City stated their emissions at 5,203 t CO2e, an increase of 49%.  The Agenda of the Council’s recent 11 August 2021 FPOL meeting confirmed the City emitted 6,421 t CO2e in the 2019/20 financial year.

During this same period the Cities of Sydney and Melbourne reduced their emissions by 25% and 31% respectively. 

The City of Fremantle is well behind the game and has lost a decade in wasted opportunities.  Despite the climate action boasts and claims made by the  City of Fremantle over the past 12 years, its efforts to curb carbon emissions have gone backwards at an alarming pace.

The City of Fremantle needs to urgently get federal government Climate Active certification in place so that it can start on the meaningful path to genuine emissions reductions. This government certification provides the structure and processes for organisations to safely achieve emissions reductions targets and to have such targets audited.

Regrettably, the City of Fremantle takes the lazy route by simply buying carbon offsets, and then self-certifying itself as Carbon Neutral. Offsetting is supposed to be the option of last resort, when emissions abatement options become too expensive to justify. Fremantle needs to start doing the hard work that Sydney and Melbourne have already done to drive down carbon emissions.