Zero Emissions Byron (ZEB) aims to transition the Byron Shire region to zero emissions by 2025, working through the sectors of Energy, Buildings, Transport, Land Use and Waste. ZEB aims to reduce the impacts of climate change and develop new economic opportunities by inspiring and working with Council and the community.

ZEB acts as an umbrella group managing the carbon budget for the region, with three main roles:

  1. Calculate and monitor emissions and their abatement
  2. Develop an emissions mitigation strategy and plans
  3. Facilitate emissions abatement

ZEB’s Vision is to achieve ‘Net Zero Emissions’ within the Byron Shire region by 2025.

ZEB’s Mission is to implement zero emissions strategies by inspiring and working with the community.

ZEB has four key goals:

  1. Develop and implement a concise and financially rigorous GHG abatement plan, championed by ZEB stakeholders, to achieve the ZEB Vision and Mission.
  2. Engage the community and ZEB stakeholders in the implementation and planning of emissions reduction, and enable broad ownership of the program.
  3. Assist in positive development and resilience of our region, through new ecologically sustainable projects and jobs and the continued promotion of the Byron Shire as the ‘Most Sustainable Tourist, Lifestyle and Work destination in Australia’.
  4. Contribute to the national abatement of climate change and its impacts, and support the development of robust climate policy at all levels of Government (Local, State and Federal).

Zero Emissions Byron was initiated in March 2015, with a meeting between the CEO of Beyond Zero Emissions and the Byron Shire Mayor, who envisaged Byron Shire as a prototype for regional emissions mitigation in Australia. A public meeting followed from which ~50 volunteers were recruited to work in each of the five sectors. Working Group Volunteers, the Project Coordinator and Beyond Zero Emissions collaborated to develop the Baseline Emissions Report, detailing emissions in Byron Shire from the five sectors. The Report, published in June 2016, was an important first step in that it has allowed an understanding and prioritisation of emissions sources across the region.

Action planning then followed with key stakeholder forums, where industry bodies, businesses and organisations from each sector came together to compile and assess mitigation actions. A detailed Emissions Reduction Plan will cost and prioritise those mitigation strategies.

GHG abatement, education and collaborative projects are happening, such as Repower Byron Shire (a street by street renewable energy program, in conjunction with with COREM and Enova Community), the Zero Emissions Schools Initiative, plus Individual Emissions education. ZEB frequently engages with the community through media articles, social media communications and holding community events such as The Big U-Turn Ahead.

ZEB recognises the importance of engaging with all its key stakeholder groups, including Federal, State and Local government; individual sectors within the community; and the private sector, to encourage participation and investment in the transition to a zero emissions economy in Byron Shire.

Community and grassroots collaboration with Council is a key characteristic of the Byron Shire Region, and is as an integral strength of ZEB. Community volunteers continue to be a core part of ZEB projects.