October has been a busy month in the lead up to the end of 2023. GMCA has been running projects on neighbourhood batteries, asset vulnerability assessments, managed aquifer recharge, business renewables power purchasing, and so much more.
Water Banking in the Goulburn Murray
The first forum to commence our series of co-design workshops on Managed Aquifer Recharge with CSIRO kicked off on Thursday 28 September 2023 in Benalla. Some 23 organisations attended to hear presentations from SA Water, City of Marion, Environmental Services WA, Salisbury Water SA, and of course CSIRO.
Our next workshop with CSIRO and local agencies and authorities will be project-based and information will be sent out soon so stay tuned.
Multilevel Governance: Advocacy
On the 17th October 2023 the Victorian Greenhouse Alliances wrote to Ministers McAllister (Victoria) and Bowen (Federal), noting as the risks and opportunities of climate change become increasingly clear, it is imperative that all levels of government work well together to accelerate the transition to net zero and to strengthen community resilience. To meet this challenge, the current fragmented approach to policy, funding and resourcing must be addressed.
We noted that the recently released Many Hands Makes Light Work report identifies that a new approach to climate governance is required to empower all spheres of government to fulfil their climate ambitions by promoting effective coordination between and across all levels of government. This ‘multilevel governance’ approach is intended to turbocharge climate action and give those on the frontlines a seat at the decision-making table. It is also designed to stimulate collaboration, engagement and communication between government portfolios and sectors of the economy.
To emphasise this the VGAs attached design recommendations with the letter that outline improvements to the implementation of the Federal Gov Energy Savings Package, specifically by prioritising the $1.3B Household Energy Upgrades Fund for vulnerable and low-income households.
I will keep you updated to any responses - multilevel governance is set to be a long-term advocacy goal for the Alliances.
Recharging Goulburn Murray
Procurement discussions have been progressing with various organisations regarding Recharging Goulburn Murray, our renewable preferred panel of suppliers. At this stage we are reviewing opportunities to partner with Solar Savers, the long-standing program run by the Eastern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (EAGA) and Maroondah City Council.
Our discussions will be around tailoring a regional arm of Solar Savers that is an affordable option for our councils. It goes without saying that this program is tried and trusted, and operates extremely effectively, so if we jump into it there will be minimal disruption trying to set up something from scratch.
Latest on A Resilient Public Estate project
A Resilient Public Estate project is running smoothly with the great assistance of our project officer David, and Spatial Vision, the consultants. Our Asset Vulnerability Assessments will be developed using state-wide and regional publicly available datasets to determine asset location and attributes where possible. These attributes and additional contextual information will be used to determine asset vulnerability to different climate-change related scenarios. This includes the identification of attributes that indicate sensitivity and adaptive capacity,
After consultation and workshops, Spatial Vision has provided a document with suggested scorings from 1-5 (lowest to highest sensitivity/impact) for each asset attribute that may indicate how an asset will respond to climate-change related scenarios.
For each of the following asset types, the logic behind the inclusion is stated, identified attributes pertaining to vulnerability, and then an initial vulnerability scoring has been developed;
Annual Ironbark Snapshot Update
Ironbark Sustainability have got their annual Snapshot update webinar coming up at 11am AEDT Wednesday 8th November 2023.
One big thing to note is the inclusion of fugitive emissions, which will impact on most council emissions profiles. Fugitive emissions are losses, leaks and other releases of gases such as methane and carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere that are associated with industries producing natural gas, oil and coal. As the coal is mined gases contained in the coal seams escape and are known as 'fugitive'. These fugitive emissions account for approximately 8% of total global anthropogenic methane emissions - a significant amount.
Some councils fugitive emissions will be minor, but some may face major impacts to their emissions profiles.
Ironbark will also report on other interesting changes, accuracy improvements and extra years or reporting - they'll be going through it all as they reliably do each year.
If you are interested in attending, registration details are here and further background here.
Neighbourhood Battery Training Sessions
A series of Neighbourhood Battery training sessions are being made available both by the Alliances, and as part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to ensuring Victoria is best positioned to embrace our energy transition.
The first is an online session for regional leadership and decision-makers (councillors, managers, Exec, officers) to understand the risks, resourcing requirements, and advantages of owning, leasing, and maintaining neighbourhood batteries in a local setting. Two save-the-dates for the same workshop will be sent out to choose - likely Thursday 7th and 14th December @ 2pm. This will be run by the Indigo Power team. Please forward this invite to your interested teams when it arrives in your in-box.
The second workshop opportunity is from the Department of Energy, Environment and Climate Action (DEECA) who has engaged the Yarra Energy Foundation (YEF), an independent not-for-profit with a focus on facilitating the uptake of renewable energy and energy efficiency by all sectors of the community, to provide training in the fundamental elements of developing both feasibility and business cases on neighbourhood-scale batteries.
1 day course:
The 1-day course aims to equip participants with foundational knowledge to support feasibility assessment of neighbourhood battery opportunities, by considering:
2 day course:
The two-day course aims to provide participants with essential knowledge and tools to support planning and delivery of neighbourhood battery projects by exploring:
The one-day course will be run in Melbourne. Cost for full day of training, morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea - $237.28 including GST - discounts available for not-for-profit organisations.
To register your interest, please email email@example.com
Please note that depending upon demand, spaces may be limited to two people per organisation.
Environmental Justice workshop
La Trobe University and University of Sydney are holding a two-hour workshop that will bring together people from state and local government in Victoria who are working on climate change adaptation. The aim is to consider ways to embed environmental justice in adaptation policy and planning – environmental justice considers how environmental goods, benefits, risks, and burdens (over and above climatic conditions) are distributed geographically and across society.
Prior to the workshop, there will be a short overview of environmental justice and its potential application to climate change adaptation. During the workshop, why environmental justice is relevant to adaptation and examples of what it looks like in practice will be discussed, and then how organisations are approaching climate change adaptation, and opportunities to build on existing justice and environment considerations in climate change adaptation policies and plans.
The hybrid workshop will be held at La Trobe University’s Melbourne campus (360 Collins street) and online via teams on Thursday 9 November, 10am to 12pm.
If you are interested please RSVP to Dr. Lisa de Kleyn, Research Fellow, Climate Change Adaptation Lab, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Victoria