Essential climate change considerations a step closer

Publish date:

Local government has long been calling for increased climate change considerations to be included in Victoria’s planning system.

Two years after the release of the “Climate Change & Planning in Victoria” report commissioned by the Council Alliance for a Sustainable Built Environment (CASBE) and the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances, the State Government has introduced a bill into Parliament acting on some of the report’s recommendations.

The bill, amending the Planning and Environment Act, clearly recognises that planning has a critical role to play in the response to climate change. With the built environment representing a large portion of Victoria’s emissions, this move is a great step forward and something councils and their communities has been calling for.

MAV President Cr David Clark said local government has led the way on climate change action.

“For years the MAV, CASBE, and the Greenhouse Alliances have called for stronger consideration of climate change in the planning system,” Cr David Clark said.

“It’s great to see that the research commissioned by CASBE and the alliances has informed a number of the key changes being proposed.”

Cr Clark said planning decisions made today shape local communities for decades to come.

“It is critical that the planning system supports councils to require developers to actively address climate change risks in their applications.”

“This bill goes a long way to achieving that goal and we look forward to the bill getting the cross-party support it deserves when Parliament resumes in 2024” Cr Clark said.

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Summary of key changes in the Climate Change and Energy Legislation Amendment (Renewable Energy and Storage Targets) Bill 2023:

  • Climate Change Act 2017 (set to be renamed the Climate Action Act 2017 as one of the changes in this bill)
    • Brings forward net zero target from 2050 to 2045
    • Enshrines previously announced interim targets in legislation
  • Planning and Environment Act 1987
    • Updates the objectives of the planning framework to provide for explicit consideration of State climate change policies, including emissions reduction targets and improve resilience
    • Places an additional duty on planning authorities (bodies that prepare planning scheme amendments, primarily councils) to have regard to emissions reductions targets and significant risks to use or development likely to arise from the impacts of climate change
    • Allows the Minister to prepare Ministerial directions prescribing more detail for when and how that consideration should be given
  • Renewable Energy (Jobs and Investment) Act 2017
    • Increases the renewable energy target from 50% to 65% by 2030
    • Legislates a 95% renewable energy target by 2035
    • Legislates energy storage and offshore wind generation targets, which are:
      • 2.6 gigawatts of storage by 2030 and 6.3 gigawatts by 2035
      • 2 gigawatts of offshore wind generation by 2032, 4 gigawatts by 2035, and 9 gigawatts by 2040

For further information, contact the MAV Strategic Communications on (03) 9667 5590.