Surf Coast Shire Council declared a climate emergency in August 2019, following the strong support of more than 1000 community members who called for leadership on climate change.
Our Climate Emergency Response
Council endorsed the Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan 2021-2031 in June 2021. The video below highlights the six key goals of this Plan.
Council has committed to providing quarterly updates on the progress we’re making towards our climate goals.
Declaring a Climate Emergency
We recognise that a more significant and urgent climate change response is required, both globally and locally. A warming climate is already increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events and this will worsen if global greenhouse gas emissions continue on the current trajectory.
The Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan 2021-2031 outlines our ten year goals, and as well as the actions we will take over the next two years in the areas of mitigation, adaptation and mobilisation. It also articulates our vision for our community and environment to thrive in a safe climate. Importantly, this plan also demonstrates accountability for ways in which we will collaborate and work together in partnership with our local Registered Aboriginal Parties to protect Country and Culture from the impacts of climate change.
A role for Local Government
Local governments have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are causing climate change. This plan is Council’s pledge under the Victorian Climate Change Act 2017. It commits Council to purchasing 100% renewable electricity and becoming a carbon neutral organisation in 2021-22. Council’s annual corporate emissions profile prior to developing this plan was approximately 15,794 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) per annum. In switching to renewable electricity, emissions reductions of approximately 2450 tCO2e per annum will be realised.
In becoming a carbon neutral organisation, it is expected that Council will be offsetting in the order of 60,000 tCO2e in the 5 year period to 31 December 2025 (reporting period for interim targets under Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy).