Climate Emergency


Surf Coast Shire Council declared a climate emergency in 2019, following two community petitions. This declaration acknowledged the need for more urgent and extensive action to reduce emissions and build resilience to local climate change impacts.

The Climate Emergency Corporate Response Plan 2021-2031(PDF, 4MB) outlines how Council will respond to the climate emergency declaration. Our Climate Emergency Response commits us to taking the urgent action required to make our contribution to sustain a safe climate, where existing and future communities and ecosystems will thrive. It centres on actions that Council and our community can take for climate change mitigation, adaptation and mobilisation.

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For more information on Climate Emergency check out our Towards Environmental Leadership website or email us at

Transitioning Council's Operations

Council is committed to doing its part to reduce emissions and build resilience and adaptability to climate change. Some of this work includes:

  • Maintaining Council’s Climate Active carbon neutral accreditation for corporate operations.
  • Continuing to purchase 100% renewable energy for all facilities and streetlights through the Victorian Energy Collaboration.
  • Installing electric vehicle chargers at Council facilities.
  • Transitioning Council’s fleet to hybrid and electric vehicles.
  • Delivering energy efficiency and electrification upgrades to Council facilities to reduce energy consumption and transition away from gas.
  • Increasing solar generation and battery storage capacity on Council facilities.
  • Reviewing and updating the Sustainable Council Facilities Policy to ensure environmentally sustainable design is embedded in Council facility projects.
  • Undertaking climate risk assessments on Council assets, infrastructure and services and embed in Council’s risk management framework.

How is Council supporting community-led climate action?

Council recognises that our community is skilled and well placed to lead localised action on climate change. Alongside this plan, Council commits to playing a role in inspiring, informing, enabling and connecting people so our community and environment can thrive for generations to come. Some of the work Council is doing to support climate action includes:

  • Developing a community mobilisation program for 2024 and 2025 to coordinate and strengthen community led climate action.
  • Supporting community renewable energy opportunities, including working with the Deans Marsh and District Community to develop an Energy Action Plan.
  • Installing public electric vehicle chargers in Anglesea, Aireys Inlet, Lorne and Winchelsea through the Victorian Government Destination Charging Across Victoria program.
  • Delivering an annual Youth for Climate program to equip youth with the skills and knowledge to be agents of change.
  • Providing information and resources to equip and prepare community members for natural disasters and climate change impacts.

Climate Emergency Grants – NOW OPEN until 12th May

Every year the Climate Emergency Grants provide funding to projects that implement climate action throughout the Surf Coast Shire. There are two streams: $5,000 for individual applicants and $10,000 for joint applicants to deliver a partnership project. Applicants complete an Expression of Interest and once deemed eligible pitch their project to the community. Community vote for their favourite projects, with the top voted projects receiving the funding.

To find out more information and to submit an Expression of Interest head to our Climate Emergency Grants Page.

Other opportunities and programs supporting community-led climate action are offered throughout the year and will be advertised on this page. Keep an eye out for updates. You can also sign up to our climate sustainability e-news subscription by emailing and providing your details.