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Council declares a climate emergency

Paddock with dried native grasses.

Council declared a climate emergency at its December Ordinary Meeting of Council.

Thursday 19 December 2019

Mount Alexander Shire Council has declared a climate emergency recognising that urgent action is needed to address the current and future impacts of climate change on the health, economy and wellbeing of the local community and its environment.

In making the declaration, Council recognises that action will need to come from all parts of the community over many years to reduce greenhouse emissions, adapt to the changing environment and manage an increasing number and intensity of emergencies.

Council considered the declaration of a climate emergency in a Notice of Motion, raised by Cr Bronwen Machin, at the Ordinary Meeting of Council this week.

Council resolved to act on the urgency in several ways including the implementation of roadmap to lead to zero net emissions for operations by 2025. It will also introduce a climate change lens in the design and construction of infrastructure, the planning and implementation of services and the development of policies and strategies.

Actions will be informed by cost-benefit analyses to ensure that Council invests in actions with the best returns while maintaining its services and a sustainable long term budget.

It will also identify the best ways to tap into the expertise and enthusiasm of its communities, and commits to working with the community to reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to climate change.

The decision follows a Climate Change Forum held last week to hear community views on the matter following a petition started by the Mount Alexander Climate Emergency Team. Councillors heard 49 presentations at the forum and received nearly 90 submissions representing a range of community views.

Mount Alexander Shire Council Mayor Christine Henderson said it was big decision for Council with so much uncertainty about the future and potential risks.

“One thing that is certain is that urgent action and leadership on climate change is needed now, from all levels of Government. Council is already investing in climate change in areas such as renewable energy, water management, infrastructure and emergency management.

“As we work through this growing problem, we will need to draw on the wisdom of the experts and our community to find solutions to plan and adapt to the impacts of climate change for the sake of our children, our grandchildren and future generations. The development of our next climate change strategy will be an important part of this work,” she said.

For more information refer to the Council meeting agenda and broadcast of the meeting, or view the climate change forum page on Council’s website www.mountalexander.vic.gov.au.



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