This paper reports on a case study of the community group Zero Emissions Noosa, whose goal is for 100% renewable electricity in the Noosa Shire (Queensland, Australia) by 2026. Described within this paper are the processes used by Zero Emissions Noosa to set up their zero emissions plan, involving community engagement and the use of an external consultant. The external consultant was employed to produce a detailed report outlining how to successfully achieve zero emissions from electricity in the Noosa Shire by 2026. This paper explains how and why the community engagement process used to produce the report was just as important as the outcomes of the report itself. Modeling was undertaken, and both detailed and contextual information was provided. Inclusion of the community in developing the scenario parameters for the modeling had a number of benefits including establishing the context within which their actions would occur and focusing their efforts on options that were technically feasible, financially viable and within their capabilities to implement. This provided a focal point for the community in calling meetings and contacting stakeholders. Rather than prescribing a particular course of action, it also resulted in a toolbox of options, a range of possible solutions that is flexible enough to fit into whatever actions are preferred by the community. The approach and outcomes discussed in this paper should, therefore, be useful to other communities with similar carbon emission reduction goals.
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