Taking Climate Action Survey
The survey has now closed.
In January this year, Council made a formal pledge under the
Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
to net zero by 2035, adapt our operations to climate change, and support our
community to act too.
Our Climate Change Policy will help guide us to achieve
these goals and lay the foundation for the development of our Climate Change
Council is required under the Local Government Act 2020 to consider climate change in decision-making. In January 2022, we made a formal pledge under the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017 to:
The purpose of the draft Policy is to guide our transition to net zero emissions by 2035 and clarify our roles and responsibilities in climate change adaptation and mitigation. It also explains our role in supporting our community and businesses to transition towards net zero emissions by 2035 and enables the management of climate change risks and opportunities.
The draft Policy is intended to provide clear guidance to employees, volunteers and contractors of Council and elected representatives in the preparation and implementation of decisions, policies, plans, strategies, projects, processes, or programs.
Our draft Climate Change Action Plan is being prepared and will support the implementation of the Policy. It sets out the steps out the actions and steps we will take as an organisation to deliver on our commitments.
Our draft Plan will focus on three areas
Reducing the greenhouse gases that we pollute into the atmosphere and warm the climate. We can also draw greenhouse gases back down into plants and soils. Leading by example, we hope others will follow in our footsteps.
Becoming more resilient and creative so that we can adjust to the changes in climate and find more sustainable ways of living.
The draft Policy is available in the Exhibition Documents section.
Community members are invited to provide feedback on the draft. Submissions
close at 12.00 noon
on Wednesday 24 August.
Council is now inviting feedback. You can respond in the following ways:
97% of climate scientists agree that human-caused climate change is happening – it is as scientifically certain as gravity. But what exactly is it?
Climate change is about long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. These shifts may be natural, such as through variations in the solar cycle. But since the 1800s, human activities have been the main driver of climate change, primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, but also through the way we manage land.
In Victoria, these activities have caused our climate to warm by 1.1 degrees since 1910. While this doesn’t seem like a lot, it has driven extreme weather such as the 2019/20 Black Summer. Other impacts of climate change in Victoria include
Climate change is usually considered an environmental problem due to its physical effects on the natural environment, however the issue is far reaching and impacts on almost every area of our society, including our health, infrastructure and economy.
Greenhouse gas emissions are also called ‘carbon emissions’ or just ‘emissions’ for short.
When we burn fossil fuels for energy and transport, plough soils, raise cattle, and clear vegetation, gases like carbon dioxide and methane are released. These gases trap and hold heat in the atmosphere, heating up the planet like a giant greenhouse. The amount of greenhouse gases we release into the atmosphere are known as our emissions.
Click here to watch a short video on the greenhouse effect.
Reaching ‘zero’ emissions would mean not emitting ANY greenhouse gases into the atmosphere at all. ‘Net zero’ gives us a little more wiggle room – we can still emit a small amount of greenhouse gases, if we take out the same amount as what we put in. We need to reach net zero as soon as possible to stop climate change.
Climate action starts with the decisions we make, whether that is buying renewable energy, putting our money with a bank that doesn’t invest in fossil fuels, or participating in a community climate action group. And when we talk about climate change to friends or family, what it means to us and what we are doing about it, our actions really gain momentum as they ripple through society and influence others.
It is important to remember that, if we include all the coal, natural gas and oil we export that is burned in other countries, Australia is the fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world. What happens in our country affects the entire planet.
The Plan is being developed in response to:
Council has a vital role in supporting the transition to a net zero (and climate resilient) region, because you are well connected to the community and know what is needed and opportunities. This can be done by educating and leading the community and facilitating financially with rebates, loans, bulk buy schemes etc.
- Anonymous community member
We also know that climate action will benefit our Shire. Benefits include cheaper and more reliable power, extra income from renewable energy production and carbon credits, and a healthier community that buys local and chooses to walk or cycle instead of drive.
Through the Shaping Our Future consultation last year, many in our community said that we need to act on climate change. In response, Council is developing a climate action plan.
The Plan will act as a roadmap in coming years to help us achieve our goals and work together towards net-zero emissions by 2035. We want to hear more from you about the best actions we can take and how we can help you to act too.
There are many ways you can get involved in the project
Your input has helped shape ideas and actions that Council can take to reduce its emissions as an organisation, help our communities adapt to a harsher climate, and support community members, groups, and businesses to move toward net-zero emissions by 2035. Our draft Plan will be made available later in the year with further opportunities for the community to get involved and provide feedback to on our proposed approach.
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