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 have adopted a Climate Emergency Plan for 2020-24. This plan commits us to ambitions actions that we can take to reduce our own emissions, and supports our community to do the same.

Who did we talk to when finalising the plan?

From November 2019 to February 2020 a draft of the plan was available for community feedback. This feedback helped us develop a final plan which reflected the needs and aspirations of our community.

We received feedback on a draft of the plan in a number of ways:

  • 145 people shared feedback through the survey on our Your Say Yarra page
  • 10 submissions were sent via email
  • 90 people attended a workshop-style community consultation session at Fitzroy Town Hall on Wednesday 5 February
  • We chatted to 35 people in person at our drop in sessions, held at Collingwood Farmers Market, Gleadell Street Market and Bargoonga Nganjin
  • We talked directly with people taking part in language classes and our advisory committees

What did we hear?

Some common feedback we received was a desire for:

  • measurable targets that are ambitious, but can also realistically be implemented and reported on
  • bolder, more ambitious actions with fast implementation
  • additional data analysis and evidence to demonstrate actions are focussed on areas of greatest impact
  • major communications campaigns, community education and engagement programs that are highly visible across the city and help the community reduce carbon emissions and take other community-led action
  • stronger partnerships and avoidance of duplication of effort, including working with other councils and existing organisations running successful initiatives that could be scaled-up to efficiently increase Yarra Council's impact
  • greater financial resources are needed to achieve the level of impact desired.

How has COVID-19 affected the plan?

Right now as communities, businesses and governments are working on recovering from the pandemic, there’s a chance to ‘build back better’ — to use the recovery efforts to create jobs and stimulate industries that lower carbon emissions.

Like many organisations, Yarra Council has experienced some pandemic-related delays and budget constraints.

We have updated parts of the Climate Emergency Plan to reflect both these opportunities and constraints.