Yarra wins for innovation on climate change

Thursday 08 June 2017

Yarra Bend Park

Yarra City Council has won a top accolade at the United Nations Association of Australia (UNAA) World Environment Action Awards, held on 7 June.

The awards each year recognise individuals and organisations that lead the way in environmental innovation Australia wide.

Yarra won the Local Government Climate Action category for developing a set of tools that help assess and respond to climate change risks for new Council projects.

Believed to be an Australian first, the tools enable Council staff to assess climate change impacts for proposed projects and implement changes to make them more climate resilient.

The tools can be used for new infrastructure projects, as well as strategy and policy development and building condition assessments.

Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone said Council was proud to strengthen its reputation as a leader in sustainability by embedding climate change awareness, adaptation and mitigation into its operations.

“Yarra Council is committed to developing innovative solutions to reduce the environmental and social impacts of climate change,” Cr Stone said.

 “These tools are a practical way of ensuring climate change is considered as part of everything we do at Council, whether that’s building new road infrastructure or upgrading a community building,” she said.

“Climate change is one of the biggest global health threats of the 21st Century. Our local action contributes to lessening the impact of a warming climate, delivering long-term benefits for the health and wellbeing of the community.   

 “Entrenching these tools in our processes promotes climate change awareness, mitigation and adaptation as an important part of our everyday work, to be considered alongside other crucial factors, like financial and social impacts.

“These tools represent a subtle, yet significant shift in our thinking that puts climate change front and centre of our planning and decision making.”

Further information

The project was undertaken as a partnership with City of Greater Geelong and funded by the Victorian Government under the Victorian Adaptation and Sustainability Partnership.

The project includes:

Quadruple Bottom Line (QBL) Tool: A quick and intuitive tool to help staff rate their proposed projects across environmental, social, economic and climate change adaptation factors, and for decision makers to evaluate project proposals against these measures.

Adaptation Guidance Tools: A simple set of tools to assess climate risks and opportunities so that project-specific adaption plans can be developed.

Building Condition Assessment Tool: An update to the existing building condition assessment tool to include climate adaptation considerations.

Adaptation Training 101: A training package to assist staff to develop climate change adaptation knowledge.


Yarra joins global alliance on climate

Further demonstrating its commitment to tackling climate change, Yarra has recently joined the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy – a collection of cities, worldwide, acting collectively against climate change.

Yarra Mayor Cr Amanda Stone said joining the alliance was part of Yarra’s efforts to work towards a more sustainable future for generations to come.

“With 70% of the world’s energy being consumed in cities, it’s important Yarra is part of the global push to reduce the effects of climate change,” Cr Stone said.

“It’s important we all look at how we can enact measurable changes to ensure a safe and healthy environment for all,” she said.

“Joining the global climate conversation will accelerate more ambitious, collaborative, and sustainable local climate action.”


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