Australians go green on Australia Day


For some of Australia’s best-known cities, companies and organizations that are part of a United Nations low-carbon initiative, this year’s Australia Day will be celebrated, not by barbecues or beach parties, but by going “green,” a release from the United Nations has said.

According to the UN, Australian cities, public campaigns, corporations and others have taken on the challenge of lowering carbon emissions by joining the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net), led by the UN Environment Program, which seeks to spur global action to achieve climate neutrality.

“Combating climate change is the challenge of this generation,” said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner. “But it is also perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for transforming economies, triggering innovation, sparking human creativity and generating jobs now and in the future.”

Australian CN Net participants include the cities of Sydney and Brisbane, as well as a music festival and a carbon management company.

In 2007, Sydney, the largest in the country, became Australia’s first carbon neutral local government, implementing such initiatives as energy-efficient street lighting and creating a network of bicycle paths.

Brisbane, the Australia’s third most populous city, is seeking to become carbon neutral by 2026, through such schemes as promoting the use of solar hot water systems and pioneering Australia’s first public bicycle hire scheme.

Australia Day is celebrated yearly and is an official public holiday in every state and territory of Australia.