THE North Coast's worst contributor to the area's carbon footprint is electricity usage and Tweed Shire Council has managed this problem better than 12 local government areas between Port Macquarie and the Tweed Shire.
A State of the Environment 2012 report released recently provides councils and natural resource managers with environmental benchmarks which allow them to make informed decisions.
The report involved the cooperation of 12 councils from Port Macquarie to Tweed Shire and showed Tweed Shire Council was the best performer when it came to decreasing greenhouse gasses.
Tweed Shire also leads the way in rooftop solar panels with 21% of all homeowners integrating solar panelling on their roofs while council initiatives such as the Stotts Creek landfill gas recapture project and the running of more fuel efficient vehicles further put Tweed council at the head of the environmental protection qeue.
Clarence Valley council's Rod Wright said Tweed and Ballina recorded the highest uptake of solar panels in the state although just 1.5% of the region's energy need was supplied by excess power returned to the grid from rooftop panels.
"It highlights how far we have got to go in reducing emissions," Mr Wright said.
Most councils including Tweed council are not liable to pay the carbon tax, however, Port Macquarie and Clarence Valley councils will have to find further ways to reduce their impact as they will have to pay the federal government's tax.
The report also shows that 448 species of flora, fauna and Marine life are threatened with 16 species critically endangered.
Five species are officially listed as extinct and if measures to safeguard the grey nurse shark don't produce results, the marine animal will also join the list of species which have disappeared forever.
The North Coast hosts two-fifths of the states threatened species and a number of species are exclusively found in the area.
Apart from development, invasive species of flora and fauna remain the biggest threats to the region's environment.