The dictionary definition of Climate Change is a change in global or regional climate patterns, in particular a change apparent from the mid to late 20th century onwards and attributed largely to the increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide produced by the use of fossil fuels.
There are two main strategy streams that governements and communities employ to deal with (and help minimise) the impacts of climate change: climate change adaptation and climate change mitigation.
Climate Change Adaptation
The Australian Government defines climate change adaption as taking practical actions to manage risks from climate impacts, protect communities and strengthen the resilience of the economy.
Climate Change Mitigation
The Australian Government defines climate change mitigation as dealing with the causes of climate change by reducing emissions. This can be through energy efficiency and renewable energy.
Climate Change Adaptation:
Some of Gippsland’s key climate hazards include increased temperature as well higher frequency of heat waves; which can result in more bush fires, as well less rainfall but increased heavy downpours, which can result in flooding and landslips.
To combat the hard hitting effects of climate change, council is and has partaken in climate change adaptation projects. Some of these projects include:
The Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership (VASP) project
Funded by the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), the aim of the project was to integrate climate change adaptation (the risk of adverse climate) into council processes. Integrating climate risk into council processes will ensure that council staff are considering the effects of climate change, including extreme weather events, every day in their operations, service delivery and capital works projects.
The Community Sector Climate Resilience Program
The program is funded by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) with support of the Commonwealth Government and aims to support community service organisations plan for climate change and natural disasters to increase organisational resilience to these events and ongoing future change.
The Building Resilience Guide
The Buidling Resilience Guide(PDF, 6MB) was developed by Council to assist the local community in adapting to climate change. The guide aims to provide practical advice and information on climate risk and adaptation options that can assist homes to better resist extreme weather events. This guide includes technical information about the changing climate in Baw Baw Shire, what it means for properties, and how to make our homes more resilient. Gippsland faces a number of varying climate risks including:
- More frequent and intense heavy rainfalls causing flooding
- Harsher bushfires
- More days of extreme heat
- More storms including hailstorms
As there is a large volume of valuable, existing information regarding climate risk and resilience profile of properties, this guide aims to simplify and summarise the information.
Climate Change Mitigation
To reduce the effects of climate change, council has installed 95kW of solar photovoltaics on the Drouin Civic Centre. This is equivalent to 380 solar panels.
Council has also installed another 40kW on other council buildings including the Warragul Depot, Warragul Depot Customer Service Office and the Maternal and Child Health Centre.
Council has also installed 572kW of solar on community halls, recreation reserves, swimming pools and even public toilets.
This brings the total of solar systems in Baw Baw Shire to 627kW.
Baw Baw Shire Council and State Government’s Community Solar Program funded the solar installations.
Cities Power Partnership
Baw Baw Shire Council has recently joined the Cities Power Partnership, a national program supporting the transition to clean energy use and greenhouse gas reduction. Baw Baw joins over 115 other Councils in a free program that supports knowledge sharing, community engagement and renewable energy action.
The Cities Power Partnership aligns with Councils sustainability goals and strategy. To learn more about Council's pledge, please visit the Cities Power Partnership website.
Council has also upgraded 50 per cent of the public street lighting around the Shire from inefficient 80 W mercury vapour lamps to energy-efficient 18 W LED lights. This has reduced energy and maintenance costs per annum by about 65 per cent.
Delivered by Sustainability Victoria, TAKE2 is the state’s collective climate change program supporting individuals, government, business and other organisations to help our state achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Baw Baw Shire Council aims to be one of the most sustainable Shires in Victoria. We are committed to pledging to the TAKE2 program by reducing carbon emissions through energy efficiency measures including:
- the installation of renewable energy
- replacement of inefficient lighting
- investigating new technology and arising opportunities.
Council values engaging with the community through support and education regarding sustainability and waste, as well as with new and existing developments, Council operations, services and initiatives.
To learn more about Council's commitment to TAKE2, visit our TAKE2 Pledge Page.