Council ensuring the Peninsula’s future – our Climate Emergency Plan
Published on 28 August 2020
After extensive community consultation, at its Council Meeting on Tuesday 25 August 2020, Mornington Peninsula Shire Council unanimously adopted its ambitious Climate Emergency Plan – Ensuring Our Future: Our Climate Emergency Response.
The Climate Emergency Plan has been developed with urgency and was adopted one year from the Mornington Peninsula Shire’s declaration of a climate emergency on 13 August 2019.
The Plan communicates messages of hope for our future and provides clear priorities for how we will support and work with our community.
It guides the Peninsula towards zero carbon emissions by 2040 through actions described in seven summits and 21 action steps. This can only be achieved by the community and the Shire working together.
The Plan provides a 10-year map including targets around:
- leadership and governance
- climate advocacy
- zero carbon energy
- a resilient and adaptive community
- sustainable transport and travel
- sustainable land use and environmental restoration
- circular economy and zero waste.
Mornington Peninsula Shire was the 34th Council in Australia to declare a Climate Emergency. A year later, there are now 96 Australian Councils that have also declared a climate emergency. This Plan will be among the first six Climate Emergency Plans developed and adopted by an Australian local government.
Mornington Peninsula Shire Mayor Councillor Sam Hearn said the Mornington Peninsula Shire has had a track record of being ready to lead by example and show the way.
“In August 2019, the Shire declared a climate emergency. Since 2016, we’ve had a five-year plan for the Shire’s operations to become carbon neutral, which we’re on track to achieve by 2021. In 2018, we adopted a Climate Change Community Engagement Strategy to help our community to reduce emissions, become more resilient and prepare for the impacts of climate change. The need to act to stop climate change and create a better future story is more urgent than ever”.
Mornington Peninsula Shire is now focused on achieving the targets of this Plan and have accelerated many projects based on the climate emergency declaration, this includes:
- Incorporating environmentally sustainable design in the planning scheme.
- Three significant recycled water projects have progressed to support agricultural growth and drought proofing of the Peninsula.
- The Beyond Zero Waste Strategy was also adopted on 25 August 2020.
- The Shire’s economic stimulus projects are being aligned to climate emergency objectives, including the creation of treelined footpaths.
Mayor Hearn added “since the declaration, we’ve talked with our community; listened to concerns, gathered ideas and nutted out how we can collaborate to build a better future. Along the way, we have encountered a stark reminder that we are all connected and our current and future wellbeing is collective”.
“This year, the Coronavirus pandemic brought home the fragility of our current systems and the vulnerability we have to existential threats. It has also revealed the value of local connectivity, the immense power we have when we do act with a united purpose and move toward self-sustaining community.
“Let’s turn that awareness into opportunity. We can each make climate-friendly choices to rebuild the economy, revitalise our community and restore nature.
“The Climate Emergency Plan looks ahead 20 years to a world in which the Mornington Peninsula community has transitioned to net zero-emissions. We know there is steep terrain ahead. This first decade plan identifies Seven Summits to climb. It’s also the map to guide us away from the dangerous emergency situation and the kinds of impacts that should still be stark in our mind from last summer.
“Mornington Peninsula Shire is ready to lead by example and show the way. We’ll take action, enable and inspire others, and courageously call out what’s missing in action. We can no longer wait to ensure our future. Join us on this journey. Because we cannot make it without you,” concluded Mayor Hearn.
To view the Climate Emergency Plan, find out more about what the Shire is doing to tackle climate change and how you can help visit: mornpen.vic.gov.au/climatechange