Victorian councils are in an ideal position to take actions to mitigate and adapt to climate change at the local level, and to contribute to state and national actions.
New guidance has been released to support local government to tackle climate change and its impacts on health through municipal public health and wellbeing planning – which is a priority of the Victorian public health and wellbeing plan 2019-2023 . This guidance will be a useful tool for councils when addressing this priority area and preparing their municipal public health and wellbeing plans for 2021–2025.
The Tackling climate change and its impacts on health through municipal public health and wellbeing planning: Guidance for local government, 2020 has been developed to assist councils in meeting their legislative obligations under the Climate Change Act 2017 and the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008 . It highlights opportunities for councils to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of their communities through climate change action and builds on the significant work that councils are already delivering across Victoria.
The guidance provides examples of strategies across a number of theme areas that could be taken by councils, as well as case studies of strategies that have been implemented by Victorian councils. The theme areas included in the guidance are:
- leadership, governance and council assets
- communication, engagement and capacity building
- emergency management
- environmental health services, surveillance and monitoring
- built and natural environments
- healthy and sustainable food systems
- improving mental health and wellbeing and preventing family violence.
Think about what climate change action can be taken by your council to protect and improve the health and wellbeing of your community.