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Climate Change Response Plan

Executive Summary

Council developed and adopted the Knox Greenhouse Action Plan 2003 - 2010 in order to minimise its energy use and reduce its carbon footprint. The Plan was developed under a framework called Cities for Climate Protection, which was adopted by over 200 Local Governments in Australia and many more across the globe as a way of addressing the issue of climate change by implementing measures to reduce energy and fuel use within Council operations. The framework also included a community based emissions reduction goal and actions. Council adopted a corporate target of 30% reduction from 1998/99 levels for its own operations and adopted a 20% reduction target for the community (from 1996 levels). In 2007, Council reached the corporate reduction goal, predominantly through the purchase of green power for its street lights and the implementation of energy reduction initiatives in many of its major facilities.

The Climate Change Response Plan reflects current thinking and approach to climate change response from Local Governments. The Plan aligns with the goals identified in the Sustainable Environment Strategy 2008 - 2018, which is to reduce greenhouse emissions, improve air quality and be well prepared for climate change. These goals are achieved through the following approaches as detailed in the Strategy:

  • Achieve community and Council greenhouse gas reduction goals
  • Offset greenhouse gas emissions
  • Plan for adaptation to climate change
  • Develop partnerships to address climate change mitigation and adaptation, and
  • Improve air quality

The Plan was developed in consultation with the Environment Advisory Committee, Councillors and relevant staff from across the organisation. It identifies a number of challenges facing Council in relation to service delivery in a changing natural environment and provides a list of headline actions to undertake over the next decade in implementing the Plan. While acknowledging that scientific understanding of the effects of global warming are not yet fully known, the Climate Change Response Plan outlines both mitigating measures that will reduce energy and fuel use and therefore operating costs for Council, and adaptation measures that help move Council and Community to be better prepared for any potential adverse affects of global warming.

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