Council is currently involved in various projects aimed at mitigating and adapting to the effects of climate change in our region.
What is climate change?
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.
Regional Climate Adaptation Plan
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.
Macedon Ranges Climate Change and Adaptation Report
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 (PDF, 3MB)
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.
Draft Climate Change Action Plan
In June 2016, Council adopted a greenhouse emissions reduction target to reduce greenhouse emissions from its operations by 25 per cent by 2020-2021, from the baseline year of 2014-2015. In early 2017, Council prepared a draft Climate Change Action Plan (PDF, 5MB) to outline how it will meet this target. The plan also outlines how Council will support the community in climate change action. Council is currently considering feedback received in response to public exhibition of the draft plan with the view to adopt a final plan in June 2017.