Knox City Council has recognised the climate emergency and adopted its Climate Response Plan, which identifies 56 actions to achieve zero greenhouse emissions by 2040 and to support the community to adapt to climate change impacts.
The actions in the ten-year plan cover themes such as preserving the natural environment, changing the future of transport, improving the energy efficiency of buildings and increasing renewable energy use.
A total of $33 million is expected to be invested to implement these actions over that period, which include supporting vulnerable residents to stay safe in hot weather, encouraging 'tree-friendly' streetscapes that promote healthy canopy tree growth, surveying the community on sustainable transport options to encourage more people to consider active and public transport and replacing streetlights with energy efficient LEDs.
Mayor, Cr Lisa Cooper said strengthening targets was important to drive urgent action and align with the latest climate science and recommendations of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
“The science now shows that we are predicted to reach global warming of 1.5°C by the 2030s and limiting this to less than 2°C is crucial to avoid severe impacts such as heatwaves, droughts and floods from becoming more widespread. The work we do in the next decade to reduce emissions and limit warming will have profound impacts on the future the Knox community will face,” said Cr Cooper.
“Reducing emissions is a shared responsibility between all levels of government, business and the community.
“We will lead our community to support and drive emissions reduction across Knox, assisting them in choosing everyday actions that will help in reaching net zero emissions by 2040.
“Further to this, Council will aim to achieve net zero emissions in our operations by 2030.”
The stronger targets have been reflected in the 56 actions, requiring minimal additional budget to implement, with an emphasis on community education programs and advocacy to other levels of government, business and industry on issues such as electric vehicles and energy efficiency standards for rental properties.
Among the first projects to launch will be workshops for households to find out more about switching to solar power, installing two new electric vehicle charging stations at local Knox sites and joining the Cities Power Partnership, Australia’s largest network of local councils working for a zero-emissions future.
The adopted Climate Response Plan can be found on Council’s website at: www.knox.vic.gov.au/climatechange