Australian and Victorian Governmental departments and agencies have incorporated climate change objectives, opportunities, and actions in their social, economic and environmental strategies and plans.
Council has been implementing climate change mitigation and adoption activities over the last decade. Since 2010, methane emitted from the Cosgrove landfill site has been captured and flared to generate electricity. Street lighting accounts for around a third of Council's total CO2 emissions so the implementation of the “Watts Working Better” street light replacement project will significantly reduce Council's annual greenhouse gas emissions and electricity expenditure.
Council supports our community to adapt to our changing/future climate through initiatives such as the Climate Smart Agricultural Development Project. New opportunities sill arise such as attracting emerging renewable or alternate energy industries and businesses to our region or assisting our farmers to diversify into new agricultural industries.
Climate Change and Energy Management Objectives
Reducing Council’s energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions will significantly decrease the considerable amount of money Council spends on energy consumption.
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy contains the following climate change and energy management objectives.
1. Provide leadership by our actions
- Reduce Council’s greenhouse gas emissions and the financial costs of Council’s energy use.
- Ensure that Council is prepared for the impacts and opportunities presented by climate change.
- Attract innovative renewable and alternative energy industries/businesses to our municipality.
2. Strengthen and support key partnerships
- Maximise partnership opportunities to reduce Council and community greenhouse gas emissions.
3. Enable our community
- Assist and encourage improved energy efficiency of existing and new residential and commercial buildings across the municipality.
- Support residents to live more efficiently and sustainably.
- Raise community awareness of the relevance of climate change and the impacts it will have on our environment and way of life.
Key climate change and energy management projects
Some of the major activities Council is undertaking to achieve the above objectives include:
- “Watts Working Better” Street Lighting Project is an innovative project to improve the efficiency of residential street-lights across nine Victorian regional councils. The Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance secured project funding via a grant from the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s Community Energy Efficiency Program (CEEP). The implementation of the project will replace 3,840 street-lights across the City of Greater Shepparton to energy efficient globes that will deliver significant savings in electricity costs for Council, and therefore our ratepayers.
Your street lights are being changed over to more energy efficient, brighter and better lights. The new lights will last longer and save electricity costs. So what happens to the old street lights? 98.5% of components are recycled.
- Organic waste diversion and the Cosgrove methane flare - Council diverts organic material from landfill where it would produce a lot of greenhouse gas. Instead, it is processed in a purpose built low emission composting plant that provides 6,000 tonnes of excellent quality compost per year. Methane is also collected from the Cosgrove landfill site and used to generate electricity that puts enough power back into the grid to supply around 800 households.
The Environmental Sustainability Strategy contains two particularly important energy management actions:
- Develop and implement an Energy Management Plan
- Climate Change Adaptation Plan (soon to be a Victorian Government requirement for all Councils)
The following plans are to be developed in the 2014/2015 financial year:
- Aquamoves co-gen
- Planet Footprint
- Earth Hour
- Climate Smart Agricultural Development Project
Greater Shepparton City Council has an ECO-Buy Policy to promote the purchase of "green" products where possible.
Council collaborates with Victorian Government agencies and is an active member of several regional partnerships that aim to reduce the carbon footprint of our organisation and municipality. Some of our key climate change and energy management partners include:
- The Goulburn Broken Greenhouse Alliance (GBGA) was established in 2007 to promote regional action on climate change. The GBGA is a partnership of eight Goulburn Broken Catchment Councils, the Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority and Resource GV. The Alliance provides the opportunity for key agencies to work together collaboratively to achieve catchment wide climate change mitigation, adaptation and education actions.
- Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership helps the Victorian government and local governments work together on climate adaptation and environmental sustainability issues that affect all Victorians.
- Sustainability Victoria seeks to facilitate and promote environmental sustainability in the use of resources.
- Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability produces State of the Environment Reports for Victoria's environment and seeks to enhance peoples knowledge and understanding of issues relating to the social, economic and environmental aspects of an ecologically sustainable future for Victoria.
Get involved with our active community
Take action, help reduce your carbon footprint and save some money on your bills! Contact the following local environmental groups and committees:
- Transition Towns Tatura
- Beneath the Wisteria
- GV Community Energy
- Greater Shepparton Bicycle User Group Inc.
Reduce your carbon footprint and save money
- Living Greener - Information, how to's and rebates for sustainable living
- Energy and Earth Resources - Developing a secure and sustainable future
- Sustainability Victoria - Encouraging and supporting government, business and communities to promote environmental sustainability in water, energy and materials
- Smarter Renovations - Sustainability Victoria have produced a guide and planner to improving comfort and saving money through energy efficiency.
- Victorian Building Authority - Sustainability in the built environment
- Switch On – Take charge of your power bill
- GreenPower - Helping Australia transition to renewable energy
Understanding the science behind climate change
- Information from the Federal Government about the science of climate change
- Victorian Government's Climate Change website
- Information from the CSIRO about understanding climate change
- Climate change and variability information from the Bureau of Meteorology
- Data from NASA explaining the scentific concensus regarding climate change