Climate change

Climate Change Strategy

At Council, we’re taking grassroots action to tackle climate change.

We know and understand that this is an important issue for our community. Following a Climate Change Community Survey in 2020, around 80% of the community respondents told us they were ‘extremely’ or ‘very concerned’ about the impacts of climate change.

We are now developing a Climate Change Strategy to identify the priority areas and actions to respond to climate change.

The new Strategy will identify the risks, opportunities and priorities for Frankston City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (emissions) and build resilience to climate change impacts. It will include actions to reduce Council and community emissions and adapt and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

To keep up to date on opportunities to shape the Strategy join Engage Frankston.

Impacts of climate change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) – the global body of scientists who assess the science related to climate change for the United Nations – stress the urgency of responding to human-induced climate change to limit widespread losses and damages to people and the environment.

The IPCC warns that to avoid catastrophic global warming we must not reach 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels or, at the very minimum, not exceed that. They also warn that international efforts are not ambitious enough to limit warming to 1.5°C – a threshold scientists believe is necessary to avoid even more catastrophic impacts.

The increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the atmosphere contributes to global warming as a result of the enhanced greenhouse effect. How much the climate changes depends strongly on the extent to which greenhouse gas emissions can be avoided and reduced.

Victoria is already experiencing the impacts of climate change, becoming hotter and drier in recent years (source: Victoria’s Climate Science Report 2019).

The major climate change impacts projected for the greater Melbourne region include:

  • rising sea levels
  • increased maximum and minimum temperatures
  • more hot days and heatwaves
  • more intense rainfall events
  • less rainfall in winter and spring
  • harsher and longer fire seasons.

(Source: Greater Melbourne Climate Change Predictions, 2019)

Responding to climate change requires a two-pronged approach. While avoiding and reducing emissions is the number one priority in limiting the severity of climate change (“mitigation”), we must adapt to climate change and its effects so we can protect ourselves and our communities (“adaptation”).

Importantly, the more we reduce emissions right now, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes we can no longer avoid.

What we're doing

On 18 November 2019, Council declared a climate emergency(PDF, 896KB) acknowledging that ‘current levels of global warming and future warming already committed constitute nothing less than a climate emergency for most life on this planet, requiring an emergency response by all levels of government, including local government’.

This climate emergency declaration follows on from our work over the past 2 decades to avoid and reduce emissions and adapt to the changing climate. See our Towards Zero Emissions Plan(PDF, 3MB) and Climate Change Impacts and Adaptation Plan(PDF, 5MB) for more information.

More recently, to respond to climate change we have:

  • Reduced Council’s net greenhouse gas emissions in 2021-22 to 9,012 tonnes. This is a 1,408 tonne (or 13.5%) decrease on the previous year which was 10,420 tonnes.
  • Run a Climate Change Community Survey in 2020 to inform Council’s climate emergency response.
  • Invested in Council building LED lighting efficiency upgrades and rooftop solar (over 60 Council buildings now have solar).
  • Upgraded 6,960 street lights to energy efficient LEDs and purchased 100% renewable energy for the remaining electricity supply.
  • Purchased 100% renewable electricity and Climate Active certified carbon neutral gas for Council-run facilities.
  • Introduced Environmentally Sustainable Development assessments as part of the planning permit process for new developments.
  • Supported our community to take action through workshops, events and providing information, such as through Council’s EnviroNews e-Newsletter.
  • Supported residents to turn their food waste into compost through the introduction of a kerbside food waste collection service.
  • Committed to planting 80,000 trees by 2024 as part of Council’s Urban Forest Action Plan 2020-2040.
  • Adopted a Biodiversity Action Plan (2021-2036) to support ecosystems, bio-links and healthy waterways and respond to the threats of climate change on biodiversity.
  • Launched an innovative trial of pedal-assisted e-bikes with Neuron Mobility across Frankston City, powered by carbon neutral energy.
  • Trialled the use of recycled content in road construction works.
  • Introduced Environmental Upgrade Finance enabling local businesses to access low interest loans to implement environmentally efficient upgrades addressing climate change and reducing energy and water costs.
  • Worked with the South East Councils Climate Change Alliance (SECCCA) to identify optimal sites for public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations across the region and support businesses to implement energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Partnered with the Mornington Peninsula and Western Port Biosphere Reserve Foundation and Deakin University on a Blue Carbon Mapping Project to examine the potential of marine habitats to store carbon and provide flow-on benefits for the broader environment and biodiversity.
  • Joined the national Cities Power Partnership program with over 170 councils working together to network and share resources to address climate change.
  • Funded community environmental and climate change projects through the Environmental Sustainability Grant program.

What you can do

  • Learn more about climate change. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues and share your concerns and ideas for reducing climate change impacts and adapting to a changing climate.
  • Learn about the risks to your area, your property and prepare. For example, whether it be developing or updating your own flood plan, fire plan or heatwave plan. Get information on preparing for an emergency.
  • Find out ways to reduce your impact on climate change. For example, make your home or business more energy efficient. Visit our webpages on Saving Energy and Solar and Renewable Energy.
  • Recycle your food waste to keep it out of landfill and to reduce methane, a potent greenhouse gas – set up a compost bin or worm farm or, if you are a local resident, use Council’s kerbside food waste collection service.
  • Buy local and seasonal –  every small action can have a big and positive impact, like shopping locally and buying food in season to reduce food transport and related emissions.
  • Grow your own veggies or join a local community garden.
  • Create a wildlife friendly habitat garden and use trees and plants to help cool the environment through shade in summer.
  • Connect with local people and climate and environmental groups. Support the South East Environment Network (SEEN) and environmental friends groups in your local area.
  • Keep up to date on Council’s climate emergency response, find out how you can be involved, subscribe to EnviroNews e-Newsletter or contact Council directly.

Our partners and alliances

Everyone has a role to play in tackling climate change, including residents, businesses, and all levels of government. Council has partnered with the following organisations to address climate change:

More information

Keep up to date on Council’s climate emergency response, find out how you can be involved, subscribe to EnviroNews e-Newsletter or contact us directly.