Council is currently involved in various projects aimed at mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change in our region.
The term “climate change” refers to changes in climate caused by increases in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere, like increasing temperatures, more frequent extreme weather events and rising sea levels. While we can avoid the worst effects of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, some impacts are unavoidable and are already occurring.
The Regional Climate Adaptation Plan (2014) identifies risks, vulnerabilities and priority adaptation actions for six partner councils in the Southern Lodden Mallee Region. It complements the Macedon Ranges Climate Change and Adaptation Report (see below).
The plan provides a roadmap for future regional collaborative projects and identifies ways to reduce duplication across local government areas in addressing climate change. It includes:
Preparation of the plan was funded by the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VASP) and led by the City of Greater Bendigo.
In 2012, Council carried out a climate change risk assessment to understand how vulnerable our organisation, local communities and natural environment are to the potential effects of climate change. The result of this work was the Climate Change Adaptation Report in PDF(PDF, 3MB) or Word(DOCX, 2MB).
The report highlights population growth predictions and emerging trends in employment, education, health, population and industry. It includes details of historic extreme weather events to help us understand the real-life impact of climate change on Council-managed infrastructure and the natural assets of the shire.
It is a valuable reference tool to help build awareness and understanding of climate change in the community. It also identifies many opportunities available to Council to improve the way we do business and better respond to our community’s needs.
In June 2016, Council adopted a target to reduce greenhouse emissions from its operations by 25 per cent by 2020–21, from the baseline year of 2014–15. On 28 June 2017, Council adopted its first Climate Change Action Plan to outline how it will meet this target, and how it will support the community in climate change action.
More information on Council's guidelines for achieving objectives around and including climate change can be found in Council's overarching environment policy document, the Macedon Ranges Environment Strategy.