Posts tagged ‘adaptation’
Moreland Council have been working on developing a policy on mitigating the urban heat island effect. This is when temperatures warm up much more in urban areas due to all the buildings and roads, than rural areas. Climate change is causing temperatures to rise, and also causing earlier and more intense heat waves to occurr. Climate change also amplifies the urban heat island effect.
Moderation of urban heat island effect temperatures by even a few degrees can reduce substantial health impacts and improve comfort for residents in extreme heat conditions. Every year hundreds of ambulance callouts are made for people suffering heat related medical conditions. More people die during extreme heat events than for any other disaster, including bushfires. A 2014 report found that Melbourne, of all Australia’s cities, had the highest annual average number of heat-related deaths, with about 200 a year, according to the Age.
Research has shown that Moreland has a high social vulnerability index to extreme heat already, based upon demographic and social factors.
Moreland Council is conducting a community consultation in regard to the draft Urban Heat Island effect action plan on Tuesday 22 March 2016, 6 pm – 8 pm at Coburg Town Hall foyer, 90 Bell Street, Coburg. You can Register your attendance and download and read the draft plan. The draft action plan was approved for community consultation at Council’s February 2016 meeting with the intention of formal presentation of the final draft in April 2016 followed by formal endorsement in June 2016.
We hope you have adapted to the heatwaves this summer in Melbourne. The change in the frequency, duration and intensity of Extreme heat events has been shown to be clearly linked to climate change and human carbon pollution.
It was gratifying to see the heat health threat has been amplified during recent emergency services briefings such as on Tuesday 12 January.
This clearly needed to happen as heat stress and heat related mortality is a substantial issue that has been poorly adressed in the past.
As well as taking the lead with fossil fuel divestment, the other important climate change related item at Moreland Council meeting on 8 October 2014 was a tabling of a report on heatwave strategies including the feasability of council heatwave refuges. The report was initiated as a result of a resolution moved by Cr Bolton at the Council meeting in February 2014 (See my report: Moreland Council calls for greater heatwave emergency planning for Victoria).
Council Officers employed an outside consultant to prepare a discussion paper: Potential Risks and benefits of Different Responses to Heatwaves. The discussion paper was then used to write up a report with recommendations to Council.