We are already seeing the impacts of climate change in Darebin. Wild and extreme weather events, such a hail storms, bush fires, droughts, floods and heat waves are becoming more frequent and extreme due to climate change.

We are just beginning to see the impacts of climate change on the Darebin community. Here are a few impacts that we are likely to see as global temperatures rise:

Climate change will impact everyone in Darebin, however not everyone will be impacted equally. Community members who are more vulnerable or already facing other challenges are more at risk to the impacts of climate change. It is important that we all work together to support all members of our community.

While climate change impacts us on a global scale and must be a shared responsibility, local governments, like Darebin, are on the front line in dealing with climate change impacts. Due to our local knowledge and close connection to our community, councils are often best placed to help people reduce risks and adapt to climate change.

At Council we are well placed to respond to and prepare our community for climate change as we:

  • Are responsible for delivering a broad range of essential services for the community
  • Manage many assets in the community including buildings, parks, libraries, aquatic centres and more
  • Help shape how our city is designed and planned
  • Directly influence the construction and maintenance of infrastructure in our city through our planning laws and responsibilities
  • Fund community activities and programs through grants and other support
  • Can advocate to higher levels of government for more action on climate

In 2017, Darebin Council adopted its first Climate Emergency Plan 2017–22 and called on the state and federal governments to declare a climate emergency and legislate programs to drive an emergency response. There are now over 2,252 governments around the world who have declared a climate emergency following Darebin’s lead.

Since 2017 we have many accomplishments – you can read a more complete list on our website.

As Council’s current, and the world’s first, Climate Emergency Plan is expiring in 2022, Darebin has committed to developing a new and ambitious climate strategy to reach zero emissions in Darebin by 2030.

Council’s new Climate Emergency Strategy (2023-2030) will include collaboration with First Nations communities on healing country and support the whole community to adapt and develop resilience to the impacts of climate change to ensure we are prepared for hotter, more extreme weather to come.

The Strategy will also address one of the key actions in Darebin’s Council Plan 2021-25 to “assess the current and future climate risks facing our community and identify actions Council, and other levels of government, can take to provide maximum protection for people, property and the natural environment, in response to the assessed climate risk.”

You may have heard the term ‘net zero emissions’ before. ‘Net zero emissions’ refers to reducing our emissions as much as possible (e.g. by driving less, using more renewable energy, electrifying some public transport) and balancing out (offsetting) any emissions we do produce by removing the same amount from the atmosphere (e.g. through planting trees). Until recently, achieving net zero emissions has been the climate target for many municipalities and cities.

In Darebin we are striving to go one step further to ‘zero emissions by 2030’. This refers to completely phasing out all activities that rely on fossil-fuels (coal, oil and gas) by 2030. As the aim is zero emissions, this means no offsetting will be required. We have set our target to the year 2030 as the science has shown that immediate action must be taken to ensure a safe and healthy climate in the future. We believe this will result in faster action on climate change.

While ‘zero emissions by 2030’ is a very ambitious target, Council is leading the way in exploring how it can be achieved through supporting the community to transition to renewable energy, electrifying transport and moving away from gas, to ensure we have the best chance at mitigating and adapting to climate change in Darebin and beyond. Together with the community we are striving to create a future that is liveable, safe and healthy for everyone.

There are many ways individuals can make a real difference when it comes to climate action. Sharing your thoughts and experiences to help shape Council’s new Climate Emergency Strategy will play an important role in taking action for your local community.

Additional actions you can take include:

  • Walking or cycling to regular activities instead of driving your car
  • Using public transport
  • Driving an electric vehicle or car-sharing with friends
  • Make changes to your home to make it more energy efficient (e.g. draught proofing, adding insultation and replacing old lightbulbs with LEDs)
  • Purchasing green energy (100% renewable energy)
  • Installing solar
  • Switch your appliances over from gas to electric and use green electricity
  • Avoiding food waste and putting any food scraps in the compost, green bin or worm farm
  • Only buy things when you need them (shop sustainably)
  • Minimise waste and recycle what you can
  • Grow your own food or purchase locally grown food
  • Buy locally produced/second-hand items
  • Capture water for your garden (e.g. with a rainwater tank)
  • Move your superannuation, savings or home loan to companies that do not invest in fossil fuels
  • Contact your local MPs about climate issues to show your support for taking action
  • Join a local environmental community group

Council has a range of programs and tools developed to support the community and businesses to address climate change impacts. These include programs, such as Solar Saver, Light$mart, Gardens for wildlife and Café to Garden program; infrastructure, such as free bicycle parking hoops or our Rewilding tree planting; information and education programs such as Saving energy and lowering your energy bills, Stay Cool, Save Money webinar, or information about how to stay cool in heatwaves; and grants for community groups, such Darebin community Grants and Quick response grants.

The outcomes of this survey will help to shape how Council best supports the community and businesses to reduce emissions and reduce the impacts of climate change.

Melbourne's Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) was created to identify which neighbourhoods are most vulnerable to heat. It is based on a number of factors, including the number of trees and greenspaces, the demographics of the population, and the ability of the population to adapt or escape the heat.

HVI ratings are scaled from 1 to 5 (1 = low vulnerability, 5 = high vulnerability).

Darebin is identified as having some of the highest number of high-risk areas in Melbourne with a HVI rating of 5.

The climate crisis means we all need to:

  • Cut the pollution (emissions) causing global warming; AND
  • Prepare now for even hotter and more extreme weather to come

The good news is many things we can do to prepare for a changing climate are the same things we can do to cut emissions.