Zero-Carbon Communities

Tallows Beach in the Byron Shire New South Wales, Australia Image credit

The Guardian               Prime TV                      NBN TV                               Renew Economy 

The Zero Carbon Communities initiative is supporting the implementation of the Zero Carbon Australia vision

Cities, towns and local communities, are making genuinely ambitious commitments and taking meaningful action on climate change both in Australia and around the world. 

At COP21 1000 mayors signed-on to 100%renewable energy pledges and large emissions reductions targets, and there are now many 100% RE projects in cities and towns.


Pic: The historic gathering of hundreds of 100% renewables mayors from all over the globe assembled at Paris City Hall during COP21.

With its established independent research base and community education work over 10 years Beyond Zero Emissions is a key and leading part of emerging global and national 'zero' networks.

As a result, BZE is also receiving an increasing number of requests for support and technical assistance to adapt the national Zero Carbon Australia vision and plans to support the development of community level zero carbon transition plans.  

Leading communities 

In March 2015, the Mayor of Byron Shire Council, Simon Richardson, announced that the region was to become the first in Australia to commit to achieving zero emissions within 10 years.

The Zero Emissions Byron project is a partnership between Byron Shire Council and BZE and aims to facilitate and provide technical support to five community-led sectoral working groups on buildings, energy, land use, transport and waste.

These groups are currently working through Phase 1 of the project which includes:

Gathering baseline data

Setting targets,

Identifying strategic options

Pinpointing potential barriers

Developing action plans

Several other councils including Mitchell Shire Council are also working with BZE towards similar goals.   

A Zero Carbon Community Blueprint

Through Zero Emissions Byron and other community level projects, BZE is developing a Zero Carbon Community blueprint and resource toolkit.

The blueprint and toolkit will outline the process and required resources that will facilitate and accelerate the uptake of zero carbon targets and projects in communities across Australia.

The blueprint and toolkit will also be available both online and offline to support peer to peer learning between and within communities wishing to achieve meaningful and ambitious climate mitigation targets and actions.

In the longer term, BZE will be using increased action at community level as a basis to advocate for an improved policy and funding environment at local, state and federal levels. 

Zero Carbon Communities and COP21

BZE’s goal is to show in detail how Australia can make a successful transition away from fossil fuels to become a 21st century, clean-tech, carbon capturing renewable energy superpower. 

“We were at the COP21 in December 2015, to showcase and seek funding for our two key initiatives: the Zero Carbon Australia Project and the new and exciting Zero Carbon Communities initiative spearheaded by the pioneering Zero Emissions Byron project.

Pic: Byron Shire Counil Mayor SIon Richardson presenting the Zero Emissions Byron project at one of 7 events alongside BZE at COP21

Both initiatives demonstrate that governments can and should be far more ambitious in setting a zero emissions target : transition plans exist to support this process and local communities are already working hard to achieve them within 10 years.” Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO, Beyond Zero Emissions.

The capacity of BZE to consider a role of this kind is thanks to the ongoing and phenomenal capacity of its professional volunteers and presenter network, many of whom have acted as co-authors and experts within the ZCA project over more than 10 years.

Are you interested in supporting Zero Carbon Communities?

Here is BZE's current range of project proposals within the Zero Carbon Communities initiative: 

Zero Carbon Communities online portal: creating an online learning community and platform for open sourced resources to accelerate the uptake of zero carbon targets and projects in communities across Australia

Zero Emissions Byron: 100% Community renewable energy financing model AND/OR "Pipeline" for zero emissions projects across different sectors

Get in touch - we'd love to meet you to talk "Zero" - Media and enquiry contact details

Dr Stephen Bygrave, CEO:    

Jodie Green, Communications Team Contact:   

S: bythegrave6    T: @beyondzeronews  #zeroin10 @stephenBZE 

F: Beyond Zero Emissions    W: &

Zero Carbon Communities Gallery

Pic: One of the Zero Emissions Byron Working Groups - not working!


Pic: Byron Shire Council Mayor with  Australian Compact of Mayors colleagues at the Nov 5 2015 CDP Climate Leaders Summit in Sydney