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Bloomberg backs Sydney’s greener future::

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg today backed the City of Sydney's efforts to cut emissions and plan for the future saying it's what all global cities are doing.

In a video message, to be played tonight at the Council's State of the City report back, Mayor Bloomberg praises the City's greenhouse gas reduction target - one of the most ambitious of any government in Australia - to slash emissions by 70 per cent by 2030.

"We all need to improve the environmental performance of our cities, maintain global city status and competitiveness and improve sustainable transport including cycleways," Mayor Bloomberg says.

"What the City of Sydney is doing through its Sustainable Sydney 2030 plan is exactly what every global city that is seriously contemplating its future is doing."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore will outline the City's progress on its ambitious Sustainable Sydney 2030 program at the report back day - State of the City 2011 - on Wednesday 31 August.

"Reducing emissions is just one of the many projects we are working on to make Sydney greener, cleaner and more sustainable - it's about securing Sydney's future for the next generation," the Lord Mayor said.

"We want Sydneysiders to be involved in shaping our city's future and that belief informed every step of our unprecedented Sustainable Sydney 2030 community consultation. The result was an extraordinary consensus around what needed to be done.

"We consulted, we researched, we committed and now we are delivering. Our 2030 program is creating a green, global and connected City that holds its own alongside other great cities including London, Paris, Shanghai and New York.

"With partnerships and leadership, we're ensuring Australia's biggest city is the best place to live, work and visit, while also protecting the environment - and we're making excellent progress."

The Lord Mayor said the City's 2030 program is the boldest, bravest and most wide-ranging program Council has ever undertaken.

Major milestones over the past 12 months include:

• Setting aside $180 million to help transform central Sydney with light rail - the City's biggest single investment since the Sydney 2000 Olympics
• Finalising Australia's first Decentralised Energy Master Plan which will supply the city with 100 per cent local low carbon energy in 20 years - the most ambitious government target in the country
• Establishing the Sydney Better Buildings Partnership - an Australian-first alliance between Council and Sydney's 13 major landlords who own nearly 60 per cent of the City's office space and more than $100 billion in property assets. They've committed to cut carbon emissions and save energy, water and waste
• Being on track to reduce emissions in the City's own buildings and operations by 20 per cent by 2012
• Completing the 10-kilometre backbone of Sydney's bike network. Bike trips have already doubled and tripled on those routes
• Planting 2,000 new trees to help green city streets and villages with another 40,000 street and park trees planned to double our tree canopy over the next 20 years, improving air quality, creating more places for birds and animals to live, cooling the air and cutting power bills
• Handing out $8 million in grants and sponsorships for local businesses, resident and community groups, cultural endeavours and major festivals
• Refurbishing Australia's premier retail strip, Pitt Street Mall, for more than 65,000 shoppers who use it every day. We'll soon add a decorative glow with a ribbon of low-energy coloured LED light tubes down the centre of the mall
• Helping local businesses save enough water to fill 142 Olympic swimming pools through our Smart Green Business program which has just been expanded to include waste and electricity too
• Enlivening Sydney's public spaces and laneways with exciting programs and artworks
• Greening the City's vehicle fleet with more than 20 diesel-electric hybrid trucks,  reducing CO2 emissions by 30 per cent, with a program under way to fit cleaner exhaust systems to another 84 trucks.

30 August, 2011