Wollongong council will investigate potential changes that can be made to ensure new and renovated buildings will be more energy efficient and produce energy.
At Monday night's meeting, Greens councillor Mithra Cox successfully moved that council staff provide a report or briefing to councillors, outlining ways to ensure that all new buildings in the city are energy positive.
This refers to buildings that produce more energy than they use.
This report or briefing would include information on potential changes to their Development Control Plan; incentives for developers, home owners and renovators; working with the state government to lift energy efficiency and production requirements under Basix and extend Basix to commercial buildings; and working with the federal government to include energy efficiency requirements in the National Building Code.
"For Australia to meet our greenhouse reduction targets under the Paris Agreement - and for Wollongong to meet our commitments under the Global Covenant of Mayors - all new buildings will need to have no greenhouse gas emissions from their operations by no later than 2030," Cr Cox wrote.
"Existing buildings and fitouts must have no greenhouse gas emissions from their operations by 2050 or earlier.
"In order to manage this transition, building code requirements must be in place well in advance.
"If new and renovated buildings are also required to put excess energy back into the grid, this will speed up the transition towards a distributed renewable energy grid, and away from coal fired power generation."
Cr Cox said the motion sought to accelerate the process related to council's three-year action plan on climate change.
Cr Cox said consultants highlighted that council could make a long-term difference to emissions by addressing building codes.
"Something like 78 per cent of the emissions across the city are stationary energy, which is buildings basically," she said.
"So by making changes to building codes, you can make a real difference.
"There's communities in Copenhagen and other places around the world where buildings are required to produce more energy than they use."