Climate change is here and its impacts are already affecting our environment, our society and our economy. While global efforts to tackle climate change are increasing, the science is clear that these efforts are not enough to keep climate change from affecting life on earth in increasingly severe ways. Local governments play a critical role in helping their communities reduce emissions and adapt to climate change. This is because the projected impacts of climate change cut across almost all areas of local government responsibility, including the critical assets, infrastructure and essential services that councils provide for their local communities.
With climate change already impacting our day to day lives, we need stronger action, urgently.
What is Council doing?
Council has and continues to take climate action to reduce our impact on the environment and increase our capacity to adapt to climate change. By building resilience across the municipality, we will reduce exposure to the unavoidable impacts of a climate change crisis.
Award Winning Climate Change Assessment Tool
Council are thrilled to have won the 'Innovation' Award at the 2021 National Cities Power Partnership Climate Awards. We have designed a first of its kind tool to be used by staff to assess how well capital improvement projects address the 10 themes of our Sustainability Strategy 2020-30. A capital improvement project is any major improvement to City facilities and infrastructure, so by making sure these improvements are environmentally-friendly we are protecting our assets and our community from the current and future impacts of climate change.
Greening Greater Dandenong
Council recently adopted the Urban Forest Strategy 2021-28 which acts as a parent document bringing together the existing Greening Our City: Urban Tree Strategy 2018-28 and the recently adopted Greening Our Neighbourhoods Strategy 2021-28. The Strategies provide a holistic approach to delivering a healthy, green and resilient urban forest and help tackle climate change. Together these three strategies will help Council manage and enhance the urban forest (the collection of trees within our city) and provide a roadmap to create a cooler, greener city that benefits our community’s health and wellbeing.
Solar Energy Helping Power our Buildings
Council has quietly been installing solar panels across its buildings in recent years. At the start of 2019, there were no solar panels on any of Council’s buildings, but by the start of 2021, installed solar power capacity had reached more than 600kW, with installations at:
- Dandenong Civic Centre
- Springvale Town Hall
- Springvale Community Hub
- Operations Centre
- Dandenong Market
Sustainable New Buildings
Council’s Sustainable Buildings Policy is helping Council deliver sustainable buildings that are comfortable to work in, have lower operating costs and that help reduce carbon emissions – both during construction and operation. The Springvale Community Hub was recently awarded a 6 Star GreenStar Design and As Built rating. This means it is considered to be one of the most sustainable buildings in the world, with very few buildings meeting these high standards.
Renewable Power Purchasing Agreement
To achieve its target of zero net carbon emissions, Greater Dandenong Council has worked together with 46 other councils combined purchasing power to purchase its electricity needs from 100% renewable resources at a reduced cost. Further information about Greater Dandenong’s Renewable Power Purchasing Agreements can be found at the Victorian Energy Collaboration (VECO) website.
Declaration of a Climate and Ecological Emergency
In January 2020 Greater Dandenong City Council joined a growing number of cities around Australia and declared a ‘Climate and Ecological Emergency’ committing us to emergency action on climate change.
Greater Dandenong Climate Emergency Strategy 2020-30
Council has developed a Climate Change Emergency Strategy and Action Plan 2020-30 to help the City of Greater Dandenong become a resilient, net zero carbon emission city with an active community prepared for the challenges of changing climate.
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