RISKS associated with climate change should be factored into Bendigo's next budget, a councillor believes.
Cr Jennifer Alden has called on her fellow councillors to recognise and urgently respond to environmental and climate breakdown.
A notice of motion, to be raised during tomorrow's council meeting, calls for an internal report on council spending aligned to greenhouse gas emissions.
It also highlights the need for funding for council-wide mechanisms and allocations to address the risks climate change presents to the health and wellbeing of Bendigo residents.
"Climate risks will impact public health, emergency management, community services and recreation facilities and carry financial and social implications for local government areas, requiring a whole-of-council approach," Cr Alden's notice of motion states.
Socially and economically vulnerable and disadvantaged community members will be among those most affected.
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City staffers say the report Cr Alden suggests will be helpful in a number of ways, including marking progress on council's environment strategy and 10-year carbon reduction target.
It will also help with the development of budgets and priority actions.
"Achieving a significant reduction in greenhouse gas emissions across the whole municipality will require substantial behaviour change by residents and businesses and a comprehensive approach to renewable energy," city staffers say in a report published as part of the meeting agenda.
"While the council can and should play a leadership, advocacy and partnership role, many initiatives will require support from the federal and state governments, business and the community."
A number of governments worldwide have declared a climate emergency, including several in Australia.
Regional Victorian councils involved in the initiative include Ballarat and Indigo.
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Cr Alden's proposal is separate from that body of work.
It does, however, call on her fellow councillors to acknowledge that cities should be responsive to climate, environmental and biodiversity breakdown.
The notice of motion says cities should invest in the restoration and conservation of biodiversity and ensure a resilient city in current and planned actions to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
"Local governments know what to do at a local level to reduce emissions, and to adapt to the impacts from climate change that are now unavoidable," it says.
"We can lead the way in our own actions and pressure other levels of government to support healthier, more resilient and sustainable local communities and environments."
Tomorrow's council meeting starts at 6pm at the Bendigo Town Hall.
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