What does climate change mean for South West Victoria?
Climate Change will affect each region differently. For South West Victoria, current climate change trends mean hotter and drier conditions than we are used to.
By 2030 the potential impacts will be:
- An average temperature rise of almost 1 degree C;
- An increase in the number of hot days (over 30 degrees C), while our winters will warm slightly less (+ 0.7 degrees C);
- A decrease in rainfall over spring of 7% and a decrease in the annual average rainfall of 4%
By 2070 if emissions are not drastically reduced, we will see:
- An average temperature increase of 2.4 degrees C;
- Significant biodiversity losses;
- The average number of hot days (when the maximum is over 30 degrees C) increase from 17 currently to 28 by 2070;
- Total rainfall decline and come in short sharp bursts;
- Less rain and higher evaporation rates, reducing the amount of available water for our waterways;
- Run off into the Hopkins River system decline by as much as 50% (Department of Sustainability and Environment, 2008), due also to the combination of a larger population and increased demand.
By the end of the century, 2100, we are expecting:
- The sea level to rise as much as 75cm in South West Victoria;
- 2.2m sea level rise during storm surges
What has Warrnambool City Council been doing to reduce greenhouse gas emissions?
Warrnambool City Council acknowledges the need to tackle the root causes of climate change, which is why we have developed a Climate Change Action Plan that outlines the ways in which we will achieve our target of reducing Council’s emissions by 30% by the year 2020. In addition to this, we have achieved the following outcomes in recent years:
- Purchasing hybrid petrol/electric vehicles and an electric bike
- A substantial tree planting program that helps informally offset the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions
- Installation of solar panels on several Council buildings
- Encouraging community renewable energy uptake by facilitating a successful solar bulk buy program that resulted in the installation of solar panels on 145 home
- The purchase of 20% green power, which alone avoided 1,564 tonnes of CO2e- in one year