Facilitating a transition to a strong, low-emissions economy and a skilled workforce
Acting early on climate change will help Victoria to prosper and capitalise on opportunities to successfully transition to a low-emissions economy and develop a workforce with the skills and capabilities needed in the future.
Tackling climate change presents significant opportunities in new economic sectors, for example, cleantech, renewable energy, education and professional services. There are also opportunities for existing sectors to increase energy efficiency and productivity, and improve their resilience to climate change.
By developing a skilled and in-demand workforce we have the opportunity to export this knowledge to the rest of the world.
There are significant trade opportunities for Victoria in technologies and services for:
The Energy Efficiency and Productivity Strategy will establish a work programme aimed at improved energy affordability, creating jobs and delivering a sustainable economy.
New Energy Technology is one of the six industries with the potential for extraordinary growth, as outlined with the Government's Future Industries Fund.
Victoria's Renewable Energy Roadmap outlines the Government's plan to attract Victoria's share of renewable energy investment and jobs in Australia, including establishing a renewable energy target of no less than 20 per cent by 2020.
The Roadmap will help inform the development of the Victorian Renewable Energy Action Plan that will outline a comprehensive set of measures to attract Victoria's share in renewable energy investment.
A $20 million New Energy Jobs Fund will also offer support to community groups and businesses developing renewable energy projects.
Landfills are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions and reducing waste to landfill will help reduce the release of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Particular opportunities exist for the reduction of organic material to landfill, a significant source of landfill gas.
The Government's goals for waste and resource recovery is outlined in Victoria's Statewide Waste and Resource Recovery Infrastructure Plan.
This plan provides a long-term vision for Victoria's landfills to only receive and treat waste that has had all viable materials recovered beforehand.
Reducing waste to landfill also has the co-benefit of being good for Victoria's economy and its recycling industry.
Victoria's agriculture sector will need to be supported to adapt effectively to climate impacts, while both public and private land can play a major role in capturing and storing carbon.
Our natural environment is our biggest tourist attraction. Iconic landscapes and destination zones such as Wilsons Promontory, Phillip Island, Alpine Resorts and the Great Ocean Road help attract over 21 million tourists each year which contribute almost $20 billion to the Victorian economy annually.
Victoria's tourism sector needs to be prepared for changes in the climate that may impact on the state as a destination of choice, such as changes to snowfall and more extreme weather events, such as bushfires, floods and heatwaves.
One of the key pieces of work that the Victorian Government is delivering to help communities and industry build resilience and adapt to climate change is the Climate Change Framework and Victoria's second Climate Change Adaptation Plan.
The Victorian Government will be working with communities on the second Climate Change Adaptation Plan in 2016. The Planwill articulate the role of the state in helping Victorians understand how to adapt and become more resilient in the face of climate change.For example, how to ensure business continuity in the face of changing weather patterns events, such as variable snowfall.
A better use of resources means a better business. For information on improving business sustainability, energy efficiency and reducing greenhouse gas reductions see the following websites.
Victoria has already become warmer and drier – a climate trend likely to continue into the future. The effects of climate change will have direct and indirect implications for local government.
Aside from the regional variations in impacts across parts of the state, there are differences in the extent to which these impacts are, and will, be felt by local communities and in the way councils respond.
The nature of the relationship between each council and their local business community means that council has an ability to play a key role of educator and encourage awareness within their business community of the impacts of climate change, as well as the opportunities. As an employer, and as a provider of services to the community, councils are also drivers of economic development within their municipality.
Decisions made now will affect how well we cope with the changing climate, which, in turn, will affect future economic and employment conditions.
For more insights into the impacts of climate change on various sectors of the economy, and responses, see the Climate-Ready brochures under the Being climate ready tab here
To view state government funded climate change projects delivered in partnership with local councils, click here
Initially supported by council, Grow Lightly works on distributing locally and organically grown fruits and vegetables to residents in South Gippsland as a means to provide ready access to fresh produce and to encourage local growers to grow more.