What Climate Change means for Gippsland
Gippsland is vulnerable to the impacts of a changing climate.
Changes in rainfall patterns pose challenges for water supply and agriculture while higher temperatures increase the risk of large and intense bushfires. There are also serious consequences of rising sea levels for the Gippsland region.
The Gippsland Climate Projections 2019 provides an outline of the expected impacts.
Some of our key immediate concerns include:
- An increase in the duration of the fire season resulting in the need for more resources to be dedicated to emergency response and relief operations.
- An increase in the number of extreme fire days increasing the risk to community, infrastructure and biodiversity.
- An increased rate of sea level rise which may result in coastal erosion particularly during intense storms or high tide events. The Gippsland Lakes including the Ninety Mile beach and Corner Inlet represent one of the most vulnerable coastal areas in Australia.
- An increase in the number of heat wave events which will see an increase in hospital admissions and place additional pressure on our health care services.
- Changes in rainfall patterns pose challenges for water supply and agriculture across Gippsland.
We have accelerated our efforts
We are taking a two-part approach to tackle climate change:
- Mitigation: We aim to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2040 to ensure we stay on track to limit global warming to under 1.5 degrees celsius.
- Adaptation: We modify our planning processes to ensure our communities are prepared for the climate change impacts that we are already experiencing and to more extreme impacts expected under a high emissions scenario.
Our Sustainability Strategy 2020-24 (available to view from the Strategies and Plans page) outlines the key actions we are taking over the next four years. Our Progress Reports will provide updates on how we are tracking and provide an outline of our carbon emissions profile.
What can you do?
- Learn more about climate change. Talk to your family, friends and colleagues and share your concerns and ideas for reducing climate change impacts and adapting to a changing climate.
- Learn about the risks to your locality, your property and prepare. For example, whether it be developing or updating your own flood plan, fire plan or heatwave plan.
- Whether you rent or own a home, you need to insure it. We know that many Gippslander’s will face emergencies, as well as house fires, storm damage or water damage to their homes. Check out the Insure It. Its worth it webpage. It outlines 4 step program to help you know your risk.
- Check out the Building Resilience – A guide to safeguard your home against climate change and extreme weather, which was developed by East Gippsland Shire Council (we extend our thanks and appreciation to our neighbouring Council for sharing this content).
- Download and activate the Red Cross Get Prepared app for your household.
- Find out ways to reduce your personal greenhouse gas emissions. Check out our Guide to Living Sustainably section.
- Buy local and seasonal – every small action can have a big and positive impact, like shopping locally and buying food in season to reduce food transport and related emissions.