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.

Share your feedback CLOSED

Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and ideas on our draft Climate Emergency Plan.

Overall objectives outlined in the draft plan

Through our climate emergency response, we aim to:

  • Achieve zero-net emissions across Yarra as soon as possible, and accelerate the removal of excess carbon emissions
  • Ensure our community is engaged, healthy and resilient — especially those most vulnerable to climate impacts
  • Create a city that is adapted to a changing climate and ecologically healthy for all species
  • Lead by example with a best-practice response that inspires other local governments, businesses and communities to take strong action

Strategic Priority 1. Mobilise and engage the community to respond to the climate emergency.

Key actions:

  • Expand our community mobilisation and engagement programs to enable community action
  • Enable and support key sectors, including businesses, households, community groups and young people to step up their climate action
  • Dedicate a substantial pool of community grant funds to support community-led climate action
  • Provide additional support to the most vulnerable in our community to prepare them for climate related impacts
  • Work with others in the climate emergency movement to advocate for urgent climate action at other levels of government

Read the full list of actions on pages 17 to 21 of the draft plan.

Strategic priority 2: Accelerate renewable energy, zero carbon buildings and efficient operations

Key actions:

  • Assist Yarra residents, businesses and community organisations to transition to renewable energy, moving the municipality towards 100% renewable electricity by 2030
  • Use planning processes to transition towards zero-carbon buildings
  • Facilitate energy efficient home upgrades for vulnerable community members
  • Transition all council buildings away from gas
  • Convert public lighting to the most energy efficient options

Read the full list of actions on pages 24 to 29 of the draft plan.

Strategic priority 3: Create a climate adapted city

Key actions:

  • Plant more street trees to increase canopy cover and climate resilience
  • Consider climate vulnerability when planning and designing streetscapes, open spaces and precincts
  • Ensure our parks and reserves are climate resilient and ecologically healthy, and provide food growing spaces
  • Improve the climate resilience of Council’s assets, such as buildings, roads and drainage
  • Develop an Integrated Water Management Plan to manage water as a valuable resource and mitigate drought, heat and flooding
  • Embed climate resilience into Council’s strategies, policies and decision-making

Read the full list of actions from pages 31 to 34 of the draft plan.

Strategic priority 4: Transition to zero emissions transport

Key actions:

  • Develop an Integrated Transport Plan to strategically prioritise greater sustainable transport use and reduce car use
  • Build more sustainable transport infrastructure, including safe cycling infrastructure, reduced speed zones and additional green spaces
  • Trial infrastructure improvements, including reallocation of car spaces, car free zones and curfews
  • Develop a Parking Management Plan to reduce parking to improve sustainable transport infrastructure and public spaces
  • Transition council’s fleet pool and non-commuter vehicles to zero emissions by 2030
  • Facilitate and support electric vehicle charge points in new developments and across the municipality

Read the full list of actions on pages 37 and 41 of the draft plan.

Strategic priority 5: Move towards zero waste and conscious consumption

Key actions:

  • Promote and support conscious consumption through high profile, engaging campaigns
  • Seek to implement a municipal-wide food and organic waste collection service
  • Work with other councils and the state government to enhance waste management systems and infrastructure
  • Engage the community to practice food waste avoidance and improve recycling

Read the full list of actions on pages 44 and 45 of the draft plan.

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