UNE appoints researchers to create the first ‘carbon account’ for the Armidale LGA / 16 March

University of New England (UNE) researchers Dr Kara Tighe and Professor Neil Argent have been appointed to create the first ‘carbon account’ for the Armidale Local Government Area (LGA).

The carbon account will estimate emissions from all sectors of the LGA including agriculture, land-use, energy, waste and transport and form the baseline to allow the region to plan for a carbon neutral future.

UNE, Armidale Regional Council (ARC) and Business New England are partners in Project Zero30, which is taking on the ambitious target of making the LGA carbon neutral under the Climate Active Standard, a Commonwealth backed initiative to enable all levels of Australian society do their bit to reduce emissions.

Dr Tighe said that the baseline estimate of emissions is a necessary first step in this process towards becoming carbon neutral.

 “The baseline figures will be used to inform and prioritise emissions reduction and offset strategies that will be developed in consultation with our community, ARC, UNE and local experts,” Dr Tighe said.

“As a part of my research I will be reviewing what other Australian LGAs and any overseas counterparts have done to inform adaptation strategies and reduce emissions to target levels.

“Part of my role will be to find and use the most appropriate and credible data available to measure the emissions produced over the 7807 square km of the LGA.

“I believe we all have a responsibility to protect and repair our environment. I am particularly interested in how families can move toward a low carbon lifestyle within the budget, time, resource and social constraints we all manage day-to-day.”

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Ian Tiley welcomed the appointment of Dr Tighe and Professor Argent.

“Council looks forward to working with the UNE team on the vital first step of creating a solid carbon account. This has never been done before, and it will help us know exactly where we stand now and where we are going in this important and exciting journey toward making our LGA carbon neutral.”

The carbon account is due to be completed in 2022.

Project Zero30 is guided by a Science Advisory Committee, a Community Advisory Committee and a Project Board, who will collaborate with communities and businesses in the LGA to deliver the project’s objectives.

About Zero30

Project Zero30 will achieve its goal of bringing the Armidale Regional Council’s Local Government Area to zero emissions through a unique partnership between science and the local community.

Zero30 will achieve certification of the Armidale Local Government Area through the Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard for Precincts. The Climate Active Carbon Neutral Standard will help us to manage our greenhouse emissions and achieve our goal of carbon neutrality by 2030.