A recently released City Of Sydney Council report reveals its environmental performance over a decade and the suburbs responsible for the most pollution.
The data outlines the city’s quantity, source and geographical concentration of greenhouse gas emissions from 2005 to 2015, showing a 17 per cent reduction in total emissions since 2006.
But it also provides a snapshot of the total emissions for each of the council’s suburbs and it reveals some notable trends.
Despite an overall reduction in emissions, the dataset shows a concentration of greenhouse gas emissions to the city’s centre and its surrounding suburbs – Sydney, Haymarket and The Rocks. Despite council's efforts, these three suburbs remain the biggest polluters.
As suburbs venture further away from the city’s skyline, so too does the intensity of their overall emissions.
Eliyah El Khoury, Development Assessment Officer for Illawarra Council, believes that the heavy electrical demands of operating large buildings and facilities could be the cause for such a disparity.
“Air conditioning, I believe could be one of the main reasons for the high electricity usage, as they are often functioning all the time regardless of the outside temperature,” Mr Khoury said.
However, despite these carbon inefficiencies, in a comparison between the 2005-06 and 2014-15 overall emissions, the most radical improvements have come from the biggest polluting areas.
In 2005-06, Sydney, Haymarket and The Rocks created more emissions than the rest of the suburbs combined while in 2014-15 the emissions for these areas dropped below the other combined areas.
A spokesman for Lord Mayor Clover Moore believes that the majority of the decline is due to the implementation of the Better Buildings Partnership which has reduced 52 per cent of emissions from members’ buildings since 2006. As well, there has also been an initiative to switch all of the council’s public lights with energy saving LEDs and the instalment of a Tesla storage battery at the new Alexandria depot.
But despite Cr Moore’s targets, the culture of using, and often misusing, electrical amenities still accounts for a disproportional amount of over three quarters of the total C02 emissions in Sydney.
Contributing factors to City Of Sydney emissions 2014-15
According to a spokesman for Cr Moore, the council is now working on a similar initiative to the Better Buildings Partnership but for residential apartment buildings which aims to reduce their emissions by around 30 per cent.