Yarra's Climate Emergency Plan: taking urgent action now

Monday 09 December 2019

A cyclist riding on a shard bike lane down a leafy street

Yarra Council is calling on residents, community organisations and businesses and to have their say on its draft Climate Emergency Plan. 

Yarra Mayor, Misha Coleman said Council is proud to be part of the local and international movement that recognises the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and restore a safe climate. 

“Yarra was one of the first councils in the world to declare a climate emergency. This is the single greatest challenge of our time and it needs urgent action from every level of government, businesses and the community,” said Cr Coleman.

“Our draft Climate Emergency Plan is a turning point – we’re accelerating our own carbon emission reductions and, much more importantly, ramping up the ways we support our community during what really is a crisis.

“As the tier of government that’s closest to the community, local government has a key role in bringing people together to take climate action. With Yarra’s long track record of environmental leadership, we’ll help local people advocate for change, reduce their energy use and carbon emissions and to cope with the worsening climate impacts, like more severe heatwaves.

“Thanks to our investment in the Melbourne Renewable Energy Project and rooftop solar panels, council’s buildings and facilities already use 100 per cent renewable electricity. However, powering homes and business accounts for over 84 per cent of carbon emissions across the municipality.

“Central to our draft plan will be helping local residents, businesses and community organisations transition to renewable energy - with the ultimate aim of achieving zero-net emissions across the whole of the municipality as soon as we can.

“We are also investing in our green spaces and urban forest, accelerating tree planting to increase canopy cover and harvesting more stormwater to irrigate our parks and gardens. Trees are essential to cooling our streets and homes, and make a huge difference during prolonged heatwaves.

“It’s our moral responsibility to respond to the climate emergency and the Yarra community has told us loud and clear that they want to be part of the solution. Our Climate Emergency Plan provides the tools to put that passion and energy into real action,” said Cr Coleman. 

The key objectives of Yarra Council’s draft Climate Emergency Plan are:

  • achieve zero-net emissions across the entire Yarra community as soon as possible, and accelerate excess carbon removal
  • ensure our community is engaged, healthy and resilient — especially those most vulnerable to severe climate impacts
  • create a city that adapts to a changing climate and is ecologically healthy for all species
  • lead by example with a best-practice climate emergency response that inspires other local governments, businesses and communities to take strong climate action

Read the full draft Climate Emergency Plan and have your say



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