Our Climate Action Plan


Our Newcastle Climate Action Plan (2021-2025) sets the roadmap for achieving net zero emissions in City of Newcastle's operations by 2030 and a net zero Newcastle by 2040. 

To achieve a net zero City of Newcastle, actions will be delivered in four key areas: 

  • 100% renewable energy supply 
  • Best practice energy, water and waste efficiency 
  • Zero emissions transport
  • Reduce emissions through supply chains 

To achieve a net zero Newcastle, City of Newcastle will support:  

  • Low emissions development 
  • Clean technology 
  • Building a low carbon circular economy 
  • An electric transport Future 
  • Advancing new zero emission industries 

Our Newcastle Environment Strategy also outlines how we will assist our community transition to a net zero future. 

Key Initiatives

In 2019, City of Newcastle declared a climate emergency and has formally committed to the goals of The Paris Agreement, to pursue efforts to limit global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. City of Newcastle is a long-standing member of Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI), and Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes, chairs the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy's Oceania Steering Committee, which advocates to governments and partners to mobilise and accelerate action on climate change. We have become members of 100 Resilient Cities, Race to Zero and Race to Resilience, and report annually on our climate action through the Carbon Disclosure Project.  
Utilising a capped landfill cell at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre, City of Newcastle built a 5MW solar farm in 2019, consisting of 14,500 solar panels across an area the size of five football fields. In 2023, the solar farm generated 7,027MW of renewable electricity. 
Since 2012, City of Newcastle has installed 15 rooftop and carpark solar photovoltaic (PV) systems and 5 Battery Energy Storage Systems totaling 818kW and generating approximately 1GWh of renewable energy each year.
In 2020, City of Newcastle began purchasing electricity for its operations through a 1-year Energy Supply Agreement with Sapphire Wind Farm, a 270MW wind farm in the New England Region of New South Wales. This is known as a renewable Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) or a Virtual Generation Agreement (VGA). The PPA has resulted in a stable and cheap energy price ($0.0145/kWh, or $0.136/kWh) including network and other charges.
Between 2020 and 2022, in partnership with City of Newcastle's local energy distributor, Ausgrid, 93% of Newcastle's 14,348 main road streetlights were upgraded to LED luminaries, which use less energy and require less maintenance. Large energy efficiencies were gained from our street light upgrade program - electricity use dropped by 67% from 2009 to 2022 (7.6GWh to 4.2GWh).  The annual cost for powering the upgraded streetlights dropped by $500,000 between 2022 and 2023, and when factoring in reduced costs for maintenance, it's likely to return City of Newcastle $5m over 5 years from 2022.
The installation of a bioenergy facility at the Summerhill Waste Management Centre in 2009, where biogas is harvested from the landfill site and processed to generate electricity, with an installed capacity of 2.2MW, exports 17MWh of electricity a year, equivalent to powering 3,000 homes.