At its September Ordinary Monthly Meeting on Wednesday afternoon, Armidale Regional Council resolved to partner with the University of New England to bring emissions in its Local Government Area down to zero, by achieving a National Carbon Offset Standard certification by 2030.
Mayor Simon Murray said the recommendation was very well endorsed.
"There was good co-operation in this project," he said.
When UNE began investigating the feasibility of a carbon neutral project during 2018, council was working on their EcoARC strategy, and an opportunity to connect and discuss the possible overlap and interaction of these initiatives arose.
While EcoARC was somewhat broader than purely emissions reduction, it was recognised a joint carbon neutral project would certainly assist in achieving many of the EcoARC key success indicators.
Council met with UNE staff in November 2018, and a UNE-organised workshop was held with council, CSIRO, NSW DPI and OEH representatives to brainstorm the process.
It resulted in a proposal for Project Zero30 as a means to act on climate change.
Cr Dr Dorothy Robinson said Project Zero30 set an example for the entire country and the world.
She said all the climate strikes in recent years demonstrated the support and enthusiasm of the community for action to solve this potentially devastating problem.
"Monday's World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report said the last five years was the hottest five-year period on record and that 'climate change is accelerating, with sea levels rising, CO2 levels increasing and ice sheets melting faster than ever before'," she said.
"UNE's contribution includes provision of Kirby Station, Newholme, the Tullimba feedlot and the SMART Farm for research, development and extension activities.
"There'll be opportunities to work with Landcare on regenerative agriculture and tree planting, on livestock emissions, and now a very opportune time to seek funds to achieve the Meat and Livestock Authority goal of the red meat industry becoming carbon neutral by 2030."