We recognise that the climate emergency presents an unprecedented challenge – both globally and locally.
Our planet’s climate is already too hot, with dangerous heatwaves, droughts, storms and flooding becoming more intense and destructive. Transformational change is needed across our society and economy to rapidly reduce carbon emissions, change our resource intensive ways of life and adapt to living in an unstable climate.
In response to the climate emergency, we are accelerating our climate action and supporting our community to do the same.
From Thursday 5 December 2019 to Sunday 9 February 2020 we asked you to share your feedback on our draft Climate Emergency Plan which will guide our actions from 2020-2024. We're now reviewing your feedback and revising the plan based on your ideas.
Our draft Climate Emergency Plan
You can read a summary of our priorities from the draft plan below, or read the full draft Climate Emergency Plan for 2020-2024.
Our five strategic priorities are:
Vision: The Yarra community and Yarra Council are engaged and taking local action as part of a global climate movement.
The scale and complexity of the climate emergency challenge requires that we work together —the actions of individuals, institutions or sectors cannot solve it alone. There is an urgent need to increase people’s understanding of the climate emergency, and support the community to lead effective, sustained and collective climate action and advocacy.
Vision: Yarra homes, businesses, and community buildings are of the highest energy efficiency standard and powered by renewable energy.
Energy use, largely from electricity and gas used in buildings, is the largest source of carbon emissions (83 per cent) in the municipality. To achieve net-zero emissions, our homes, businesses, schools and other buildings need to use less energy, be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy and shift away from gas.
Vision: Yarra’s natural and built environments are healthy and resilient in a climate impacted world.
As the climate changes, our city’s infrastructure and assets (both natural and built forms), will be placed under increasing pressure due to rising urban heat, storm and flood risks and water insecurity. Our city’s green spaces, parks and reserves also provide considerable physical and mental health benefits that need to be preserved as people cope with the impacts of a changing climate. To address these challenges, we need to adapt the way we design, build and manage our infrastructure and assets – our parks and reserves, buildings, roads, streetscapes and drainage network.
Vision: Sustainable transport is the most attractive, safe and convenient way to travel in and through Yarra.
Emissions from transport make up 15 percent of Yarra community’s emissions profile, with the majority of emissions being a result of car travel. There is considerable opportunity to reduce transport emissions and realise a range of co-benefits including reduced congestion, improved air quality, health, amenity and overall liveability of the city. Reducing Yarra’s transport emissions largely depends upon reducing car dependency, increasing the portion of trips taken by public transport, walking and cycling, and rapidly transitioning to electric (or other zero emissions) vehicles.
Vision: The Yarra community are conscious consumers who actively avoid and reduce waste, preserving resources for current and future generations.
What and how people consume has a profound impact on our planet. In Australia as a whole, we are overconsuming; depleting the Earth’s natural resources, generating harmful carbon emissions and creating unnecessary waste.
To accelerate reductions in carbon emissions and curb the overuse of resources, we need to consume resources more mindfully, with an understanding of the environmental and social implications of our choices.