Climate change is causing more frequent and intense droughts, floods and bushfires. At Infrastructure Victoria, our work focuses on how to achieve net zero by 2050 and supports for the community and economy to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Climate change introduces new risks
In the future, there will be more intense bushfires, heatwaves, droughts, heavy rain and coastal flooding due to climate change. Victorians are already experiencing the effects of climate change on our society, economy, and environment. To tackle climate change, we must better understand its risks and causes to build on reduction pledges and find new solutions. Our infrastructure must also be able to handle hotter temperatures, higher sea levels, less rain and longer fire seasons.
Infrastructure contributes to climate change
Infrastructure contributes to climate change by generating greenhouse gas emissions. It generates these emissions through its direct operations, the materials used, its construction and the activities it enables. The infrastructure we build today can lock in future emissions, especially if there is no plan to convert it to zero emissions technology later.
Transport emissions need to decline
Transport sector emissions grew more than any other sector's emissions from 1990 to 2018. Road vehicles, like cars and trucks, contribute almost 90% of transport emissions. To achieve net zero Victoria must adopt new transport technologies, like zero emissions electric and hydrogen vehicles.
Strategically review the climate change consequences for Victoria’s infrastructure needs and priorities, beginning in November 2021 after delivering the adaptation plans under the Climate Change Act 2017.
In the next year, develop clear guidance on coastal adaptation planning, including thresholds, triggers, and planning guidelines to support local area decision-making. Invest in coastal protection upgrades and maintenance, including beach and dune protection and rehabilitation, and storm surge protection, over the next 8 years.
In the next year, consider policy changes and funding mechanisms so high priority public infrastructure destroyed by emergencies is built to a more resilient standard or in less vulnerable locations.
In the next year, update and expand practical instructions for government agencies on integrating climate-related risks into infrastructure assessments. This should include high, medium and low future climate change scenarios, transitional risks and valuing emission reductions.
In the next 2 years, publish a statewide electric vehicle charging network strategy, and produce charging infrastructure design standards and payment principles. Over the next 5 years, monitor and review the effectiveness of financial incentives in encouraging early zero emission vehicle purchases. Commit to no longer registering new petrol and diesel vehicles in Victoria by 2035 at the latest, through increasingly stringent vehicle registration emissions standards.
Within the next 5 years, require all new government fleet vehicles to be zero emissions vehicles where available. Incentivise uptake of zero emissions freight vehicles through reviewing restrictions on zero emissions freight movements on freight routes.