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Published Friday 8 October 2021
Tags:General, Environment, Media Release

Council acknowledges climate emergency

Mitchell Shire Council voted to acknowledge we are in a Climate Emergency, at last month’s Council meeting.

The term ‘climate emergency’ refers to catastrophic changes to the world’s climate caused by human activity and the resulting loss of a safe climate.

By acknowledging a climate emergency, Council publicly recognises the urgent need for action at a scale and speed that will restore a safe climate, with the least possible loss and damage to ecosystems, the economy and society.

Together with the acknowledgement, Council also refers funding to the 2022/2023 Environment and Sustainability operational budget to fund the development of a Climate Emergency Action Plan, including community and stakeholder engagement.

Mitchell Shire now joins 104 other local government jurisdictions and organisations around Australia, including the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), who have recognised the scale of the challenge posed by climate change and have committed to strong and urgent climate action.

At the same Council meeting, Councillors voted unanimously to adopt an Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) for Council Buildings Policy to improve the environmental performance, climate resilience and sustainability of all Council owned and managed buildings.

Over the past few years, Council has undertaken a range of projects and practices to reduce emissions in Council operations. These include rooftop solar photovoltaic installations on Council buildings, the purchase of Greenpower for Council’s streetlighting, and Environmentally Sustainable Design audits. Despite significant growth in the shire, since the 2009-2010 financial year Council has reduced emissions by nearly 40 percent.

Mitchell Shire Council has an ongoing collaboration with other Councils in Victoria through the Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance and around Australia through Climate Emergency Australia.

Council is developing Energy Efficiency Audit toolkits that will be available for loan at select libraries at the beginning of next year. There are also plans for online workshops on understanding solar and batteries, platypus conservation and monitoring and other topics.

Comments from Mayor Cr Rhonda Sanderson

“We take climate change seriously and look forward to seeing work on the Climate Emergency Action Plan get underway," she said.

“A number of other local governments have already taken this step and it’s fantastic to see our Council recognise the challenges posed by climate change and commit to climate action."

"Climate action was identified as one of the six major themes by the community in our Community Vision survey earlier this year. This is something our community wants us to do."

This page was last updated on 8 October 2021.