Cutting emissions and building resilience to climate change

The Victorian Government is taking strong and lasting action to reduce Victoria’s emissions to net zero by 2050 and ensure communities, businesses and institutions are better prepared to deal with the impacts of climate change.

Victoria was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to legislate a net-zero emissions target with the Climate Change Act 2017 and set a strong foundation for future climate resilience with action under Victoria’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2017–20 (PDF, 5.1 MB). Victoria’s emissions have been falling since 2010. By 2020 Victoria’s emissions fell by almost 30% compared with 2005 levels – exceeding our 2020 target to reduce emissions 15-20% below 2005 levels.

Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy

Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy sets out the Victorian Government’s current action on climate change and our next steps. It outlines opportunities for Victorians to save money, to work and to grow innovative businesses.

Victoria’s emissions reduction targets

Victoria's Climate Change Act 2017 establishes a long-term target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, with five-yearly interim emissions reduction targets. The Victorian Government's foundational target was for emissions in 2020 to be 15–20% below 2005 levels.

The latest emissions data – published in the Victorian Greenhouse Gas Emissions Report 2020 (PDF, 2.7 MB) – show that this target has been exceeded. In 2020, emissions fell to 29.8% below 2005 levels.

Building on our success so far, the Victorian Government has set the following targets to cut the state's emissions:

  • 28–33% for 2025 below 2005 levels
  • 50% by 2030 below 2005 levels

These targets are ambitious yet achievable. The targets provide certainty for investors and the business community and will help create jobs in clean energy, land restoration, zero-emissions transport, and the circular economy. Victoria’s 2030 target confirms our position among leading jurisdictions around the world, such as the United States and the European Union.

The next target, for 2035, will be set in 2023. You can read more about Victoria's greenhouse gas emissions targets.

Working together to cut emissions

Reaching our emissions reduction targets will take action by governments, businesses, and the community.

To help drive this action, the Victorian Government has developed pledges which outline the actions we will take to cut emissions from each sector and from the Victorian Government’s own operations. The first pledge period is from 2021 to 2025, and we will make these pledges every 5 years until Victoria achieves net-zero emissions.

Many of Victoria’s local governments have also shown leadership and submitted council emissions reduction pledges.

Victoria’s emissions reduction pledges

This pledge will deliver foundational actions that will ensure farmers are preparing to achieve emissions reductions towards 2030. New technologies and practices will be tested for the Victorian context, and farmers will be supported to use information and tools that will help to realise emissions reduction opportunities on-farm.

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This pledge will accelerate Victoria's transition to a clean and efficient energy future, ensuring that 50% of Victoria's electricity will come from renewable sources by 2030. 778,500 households will receive rebates for solar panels, solar hot water systems and batteries, and 15,000 small businesses will receive rebates for solar panels.

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This pledge will improve the maintenance and management of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment to reduce leakage of refrigerant gases.

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This pledge reflects that from 2030 commercial native timber harvesting in Victoria’s state forests will cease – ensuring that Victoria’s native forests, an area greater than the landmass of Tasmania, are protected into the future. The pledge will also lead to the restoration of degraded landscapes and the planting of up to 30 million trees, helping to remove emissions from the atmosphere.

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This pledge will accelerate the transition to zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) by setting a 50% ZEV target for all new light-vehicle sales by 2030.

A $100 million package of new policies and programs will ensure Victoria is a leader in the adoption of ZEVs in Australia and position the state to take full advantage of the emerging global shift towards this new technology.

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This pledge will halve the amount of organic waste going to landfill by 2030 while supporting emerging waste and recycling industries and economic opportunities across the state.

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This pledge will see all Victorian Government operations – including schools, hospitals and metropolitan trains and trams – powered by 100% renewable electricity by 2025. We will also cut emissions with more energy-efficient buildings and infrastructure and bring 400 ZEVs into the government fleet by 2023.

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Building Victoria’s Climate Resilience

Reducing our emissions will help lessen the impact of climate change, but it will not prevent it. Some degree of climate change is already locked in and we need to be prepared.

Adapting to climate change now will reduce future costs and ensure Victoria’s long-term prosperity.

Building Victoria’s Climate Resilience outlines the Victorian Government’s current adaptation action and next steps, guided by the adaptation priorities of Victoria’s Climate Change Strategy and a five-yearly planning framework established under the Climate Change Act 2017.

Victoria’s comprehensive and evidence-based approach is centred around adaptation planning for statewide systems and complementary community-led action.

Read Building Victoria's Climate Resilience (PDF, 4.9 MB)

Read the accessible version of Building Victoria's Climate Resilience

Victoria’s Adaptation Action Plans

Adaptation Action Plans have been prepared for 7 essential systems that are vulnerable to climate impacts or critical to our climate resilience.

Victoria's first set of Adaptation Action Plans will guide government action and help institutions, businesses and individuals to respond to our changing climate. They will be updated every 5 years on the path to 2050.

Each plan sets out:

  • the unique challenges and opportunities of climate change for each system
  • the action being taken
  • adaptation priorities for the next 5 years.

The Built Environment system captures Victoria’s physical structures and assets (such as homes, other buildings and infrastructure), built and natural assets (such as cultural heritage places, public parks and sports fields), and how people interact with them.

The next 5 years under the Built Environment Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on improving essential policies and standards to make our built environment more climate-resilient, particularly for highly exposed and vulnerable Victorians.

Read the Built Environment Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Education and Training system captures Victoria’s early childhood, school education, higher education and training and skills sectors.

The next 5 years under the Education and Training Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on ensuring that decision makers, educators and learners have the information, tools and capacity to respond to current and future climate impacts, particularly those related to health and wellbeing, and infrastructure and assets.

Read the Education and Training Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Health and Human Services system captures Victoria’s public health and wellbeing services and assets, social housing infrastructure, and support for vulnerable community members.

The next 5 years under the Health and Human Services Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on increasing public engagement on climate resilience and health, improving the climate resilience of infrastructure, and improving system-wide capacity to prepare for and respond to climate change.

Read the Health and Human Services Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Natural Environment system captures Victoria’s land-based ecosystems such as grasslands and forests, aquatic ecosystems such as rivers and wetlands, and coastal and marine ecosystems such as mangroves and sea-grass meadows.

The next 5 years under the Natural Environment Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022-2026, will be focused on building the foundations of the practices, systems, and knowledge that will enable effective adaptation to climate impacts on Victoria’s natural environments. The plan will embed climate change adaptation into natural environment management by guiding adaptation planning in regional and place-based plans that manage specific areas and ecosystems, species and natural environment values.

Read the Natural Environment Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Primary Production system captures Victoria’s agriculture industries, plantation forestry, productive fisheries and the infrastructure, workforce and communities supporting them.

The next 5 years under the Primary Production Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on building the climate resilience of value chains, facilitating research and innovation, and supporting primary industries to build further on their climate change adaptation information, skills and capacity.

Read the Primary Production Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Transport system captures Victoria’s transport users, freight services, transport networks, facilities, systems and vehicles, and the people that plan, design, operate and manage them.

The next 5 years under the Transport Climate Change Adaptation Climate Change Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on establishing a solid foundation for building the transport system’s climate resilience, by improving knowledge, capacity and approaches to decision making.

Read the Transport Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

The Water Cycle system captures the collection, storage, treatment, delivery and supply of water, and the management of wastewater, drainage and flooding.

The next 5 years under the Water Cycle Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2022–2026, will be focused on integrating climate change adaptation across all aspects of the water cycle system.

Read the Water Cycle Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan

Victorian Government Climate-related Risk Disclosure Statement 2022

The Victorian Government has developed a Climate-related Risk Disclosure Statement, outlining its  approach to identifying, assessing and managing climate-related risks and opportunities in Victoria.

The climate-related risk disclosure builds transparency and accountability for climate-related risks and opportunities.

Further information and access to the Victorian Government Climate-related Risk Disclosure Statement can be found on the Department of Treasury and Finance website.

Victorian Government action on climate change resources

To learn more about the action being taken by the Victorian Government on climate change, check out the following resources:

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Page last updated: 27/10/22