Environment

How Council is addressing the climate emergency

Council is taking a range of actions across energy, waste, transport, business, procurement and events.

Darebin's Climate Emergency Plan

In 2017, Darebin Council adopted its 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.

The Climate Emergency Plan provides an overarching framework for Council’s work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions both in its own operations and in the community, and to support the community to adapt and develop resilience to the impacts of climate change.

View the Climate Emergency Plan 2017–22 in full, or read its 8-page summary.

What Council has achieved so far

Since 2017 we have:  

  • Helped more than 1500 households and businesses install solar systems through our Solar Saver program
  • Installed solar and upgraded lighting on major Council facilities like the Northcote and Preston libraries
  • Led a collaboration of 46 Councils on the VECO project to source 100% renewable energy for their electricity supplies from Victorian wind farms from July 2021. This is the largest emissions reduction project ever undertaken in the local government sector in Australia, and is equivalent to removing 90,000 cars off the road each year

  • Had our operations certified as carbon neutral from 2019–20 financial year

  • Developed a new Waste and Recycling strategy that views waste through the lens of the climate emergency and focusses on how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

  • Supported residents to turn their food waste into compost through the introduction of our FOGO service, and supported our community to grow their own food through our Sustainable Food program

  • Substantially increased tree and understory planting across Darebin under our Breathing Space strategy, with 127,000 Indigenous plants planted in 2020 alone

  • Future proofed our facilities and designed environmentally sustainable facilities like the Northcote Aquatic and Recreation Centre and the new Ngarrandjeri Stadium

  • Implemented a new Social and Sustainable Procurement policy so that environmental impacts are now considered in all tenders and contracts

  • Established the Climate Emergency Darebin advisory committee to provide community feedback on our work

  • Led the establishment of Climate Emergency Australia – a network of councils from across the country who have declared a Climate Emergency and are now working together on climate action and advocacy

  • Supported our community to take action on the climate emergency through workshops, conferences, events, dinners and resources.

What we are working on now

The 2021–25 Council Plan, passed in June 2021, continues our commitment to climate leadership. ‘Continuing to lead with our response to the climate emergency’ is the third of the ten big actions in the four year plan. 

We will do this by:

  • Updating our Climate Emergency Plan to set out how to best achieve zero greenhouse gas emissions for Darebin by 2030
  • Offering solar installations and energy retrofits to pensioners and vulnerable communities
  • Developing new opportunities for business and community to purchase renewable energy
  • Supporting a shift to a circular economy and massively reducing our waste going to landfill
  • Delivering projects and programs aimed to improve safety for people cycling, walking and wheeling
  • Increasing active travel which will also reduce transport emissions
  • Continuing to lead the regeneration, enhancement and protection of our natural ecosystems and biodiversity, and explore opportunities for partnership with the Wurundjeri Woiwurrung traditional owners
  • Assessing and addressing the key climate risks facing the Darebin community
  • Helping mitigate the health impacts of climate change
  • Continuing to support our community to reduce their emissions and address climate change.

Front cover of Darebin Climate Emergency Plan 2017-2022