You've told us that climate change is having an impact on Knox and that urgent action is needed, so we've developed a draft Climate Response Plan. In the plan we've set some targets and identified a number of opportunities for all of us to make changes that could have a big impact.

We are keen to hear your thoughts on the proposed plan, as well as any ideas you have on how we can tackle climate change together.

Timeline

  • Timeline item 1 - active

    Feedback on draft Climate Response Plan - May/July 2021

  • Timeline item 2 - incomplete

    Summarise community feedback - July/August 2021

  • Timeline item 3 - incomplete

    Report to Council - September 2021

  • Timeline item 4 - incomplete

    Finalise plan - October 2021

We are proposing two targets in the Climate Response Plan 2021-2031:

  • Knox Council to reach net zero emissions by 2030. This is in line with what the science is telling us about when change needs to be made.
  • Knox community to reach net zero emissions by 2050. This is in line with the proposed Victorian target.

When we burn fossil fuels for energy, such as coal, oil, or natural gas, we release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide is a gas that traps heat. As CO2 builds up, it acts like a blanket, trapping in heat that would otherwise escape. This “blanket effect” is warming the planet’s atmosphere, disrupting the balance that keeps the climate stable.

We need to avoid adding carbon to the atmosphere, we limit global warming to below a 2oC increase. If temperature rises above 2oC, we will face irreversible consequences including more extreme and unpredictable weather such as heatwaves, bushfires, flooding.


Quick Polls

Please indicate your level of support for proposed Council target of net zero emissions by 2030

This poll has concluded.

I think the Council target should be stronger
31% (49 votes)
I support the Council target
21% (34 votes)
I think the Council target is too strong
47% (74 votes)
Don't know/unsure
1% (2 votes)
Total Votes: 159
Please indicate your level of support for proposed community target of net zero emissions by 2050

Have your say on the draft Plan

Share your thoughts and ideas on the draft Plan by 18 July 2021.

To provide feedback you can:

  • take the quick poll above, and then add your ideas or complete the online survey below
  • attend one of the pop-up sessions listed below
  • post a letter to Climate Response Plan, City Futures, Knox City Council, Reply Paid 70243 Wantirna South VIC 3152

Come along to a pop up feedback session

Wednesday 14 July 2021 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Knox Leisureworks

35 Tormore Rd, Boronia

Wednesday 14 July 2021 01:30 pm – 03:00 pm

Rowville Community Centre

40 Fulham Road, Rowville

Saturday 17 July 2021 10:00 am – 11:30 am

World Environment Day Tree Planting

First Friends of Dandenong Creek.

Dandenong Creek - end of Ricdanic Drive, Bayswater

Further information on proposed themes

Source: Snapshot Community Climate Tool.

Our community emitted 2,959,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (t CO2e) in 2019, which is equivalent to:

  • 643,523 passenger vehicles driven for one year
  • 356,332 homes’ energy use for one year
  • 359,940,590,875 number of smarthphones charged

Why is Council concerned with climate change? Shouldn't they be more worried about services like roads, rates and rubbish?

Local governments have been demonstrating leadership in climate change action for many years. In particular, councils across Victoria have made significant progress in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions, and supporting communities to do the same. The essential services and infrastructure councils provide to the community are vulnerable to a range of climate hazards. Because of our local knowledge and close connection to the community, Council is well placed to help the local community reduce risks and adapt to climate change.

Importantly, the Local Government Act 2020 requires council to have regard to climate change, as does the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008, and the Climate Change Act 2017.

What is the difference between mitigation and adaptation?

Mitigation measures are actions that reduce and curb greenhouse gas emissions, while adaptation measures are actions that address the impacts of climate change (and reducing vulnerability). However, no matter how quickly we reduce emissions, some changes to our climate are already ‘locked in’. Mitigation, therefore, attends to the causes of climate change, while adaptation addresses its impacts. For example, mitigation would be installing solar panels on your house so that you reduce your emissions from using fossil fuels, whereas increasing insulation in your house to better regulate the temperature inside on really hot days would be an example of adaptation.

Why is waste not included in the Climate Response Plan?

As Knox has no active landfill sites within our municipality, waste is not classified/ measured as one of our largest emitters of greenhouse gases. However, Council recognises the importance of recovering and reducing waste to help tackle climate change and reap other environmental and social benefits. Council is working on developing a transition plan to transform its waste services and align to the State Government’s Recycling Victoria Policy. Under this policy, Council will be required to implement a Food Waste Collection Service, and is excited to be planning this initiative. Council is also participating in a regional project to explore Alternative Waste Processing, with a key project objective to achieve better environmental outcomes compared with Landfilling waste. There will be future consultation opportunities associated with future Food and Garden waste services, as well as the development of a new Waste Management Strategy for Knox which will encompass the numerous sector changes and emerging opportunities arising in recent times.

The Knox community are urged to contribute to developing circular economies by avoiding waste through refusing, repairing, and upcycling, recycling wherever possible, composting, buying local, and buying second hand or products made from recycled content over virgin products.

How can I play a role in addressing climate change?

You can be part of the climate change solution. Climate change is an international problem that will only be solved through the actions and policies of all nations, regions and cities working together. But it is also a matter for personal action. The greatest contribution to climate change comes from carbon dioxide released as a waste product when we burn fossil fuels to provide energy to power our homes, industry, and drive our cars.

We can:

  • Reduce emissions by reducing the amount of energy we use and by changing the source of that energy to renewables (like wind and solar) rather than fossil fuels.
  • Consider purchasing an electric car the next time we trade in our car.
  • Install solar panels on our roofs to power our homes from the sun rather than coal or gas powered electricity.
  • Replace incandescent light bulbs with more energy efficient ones like LEDs.
  • Use less hot water by only washing clothes in cold water.
  • Eat a more plant-based diet.
  • Plant trees in our backyard.

These are all choices that depend on individual actions.

There are also local climate initiatives you can join like the Knox Environment Society, Knox Climate Action Now, or a Friends Group. Importantly, you can help Council develop our Climate Response Plan by participating in the community consultation process underway. We want to hear about your aspirations and concerns for Knox.

Isn't Knox too small to make a difference?

Knox is a small municipality with big ambitions. Whilst it’s true that Australia as a whole emits only 1.3% of worldwide emissions, our population is only 0.3% of the global total. This means that Australia is emitting much more than our fair share worldwide. If wealthy countries like Australia aren’t doing more to reduce their disproportionately high emissions, what possible incentive is there for developing countries to take the issue seriously? In order for us all to do our fair share to ensure a safe climate for future generations, Knox needs to contribute to the solution. And we need your help to do it.

How does climate change affect me in Knox?

Climate change impacts can affect those that are most vulnerable in our community, including low income earners, older people, very young people or those living with a disability. The effects of climate change on some in our community could be significant because they have less capacity to adapt to the effects of extreme weather conditions including:

  • higher temperatures and longer, more significant heat waves,
  • increased costs for essential goods and services, and
  • damage to housing and the built environment.

Similarly, climate change and extreme weather events threaten the viability of Australian sport as it’s currently played, either in the back yard, at local grounds, or in professional tournaments. Some climate change impacts that can impact on sport include heatwaves, changed rain patterns, floods, and drought.

I work in Knox, what can our workplace do?

The industrial and commercial sector is the largest emitter of carbon emissions in Knox, and their role in driving down emissions is crucial. Speak to your workplace about tackling climate change. Council is committed to helping our local businesses reduce their emissions and costs. Get your workplace to get in contact with us to see how me might be able to assist.

What about transport emissions?

Some of the things that will help drive down transport emissions are things that everyone can do, such as shopping in your local area, engaging local tradespeople. Bike, walk or catch public transport where you can. Consider switching to an electric vehicle with your next car purchase.

Contact Us

Have questions or want to learn more about this project, contact us below:

Name Climate Response Plan Team
Phone 9298 8826
Email greenleaf@knox.vic.gov.au