BENDIGO councillors could ask the public for input on a five-year climate battle plan just a week after an international report found "strong and sustained" action on greenhouse gas emissions is urgently needed.
The City of Greater Bendigo will decide on Monday whether it will send the plan out for community consultation.
But the council has published the draft along with other documents to be discussed when elected officials meet.
The draft could help define the council's approach to climate change in the wake of an international report that found humanity would miss any chance of limiting climate change to 1.5 degrees Celsius or even 2 degrees Celsius without "immediate, rapid and large-scale reductions in greenhouse gas emissions" in the coming decades.
It comes at a time when the Australian government is under fire for appearing to drag its feet on climate change, including by refusing to "burden" regional areas with climate targets.
The report predicts escalating extreme weather events worldwide including in southern Australia and was compiled by the United Nations' peak scientific group the International Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
Australia is "virtually certain" to have more frequent and extreme heatwaves over the rest of the century, with flow-on health and agriculture impacts that policymakers at all levels will need to manage, the report found.
Climate change will also likely bring more fire weather and could lead to more droughts to much of Australia and potentially put entire Pacific island nations at risk of inundation from rising sea levels.
The Bendigo council's draft action plan would put climate change front-and-centre of its environmental strategy, documents released ahead of Monday's meeting say.
It would unite a series of targets both for itself and the entire community within one document, with solid deadlines both for five and 10 years from now.
That would include no new gas connections in council buildings, more electric vehicles and reaching 90 per cent of council owned buildings with solar power systems by 2026.
The council would also push for 40 per cent of residents' homes and businesses to get solar in five years, 20 per cent of their cars to be electric and for the wider community to own 50 per cent of locally produced renewable energy by 2026.
Should the policy get the go-ahead, it would also "showcase" a series of policies over the next five years.
They would include a two-year "climate collaboration" with 1000s of homes and businesses on zero carbon footprints as well as a 2022 climate summit.
The summit would be full of "inspirational climate speakers and a climate festival to celebrate progress, make public commitments to zero carbon and announce city-wide projects".
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Those projects would likely include council partnerships with major businesses and other groups, as well as potentially with other councils that would band together throughout the broader two years of collaborations.
The council would also partner with the building industry and other businesses to create at least two land developments that would become something of a manual for other groups.
"Our priority development will showcase an affordable residential development," the draft council documents show.
"At least one other will showcase a commercial or industrial development.
"Our showcase will give Greater Bendigo a legacy of high-quality developments that demonstrate our community vision for a welcoming, sustainable and prosperous community."
The council would also build off of projects like Reimagine Bendigo Creek to help heal upside-down country and try to arrest a biodiversity crisis that is playing out across Victoria.
The Bendigo council's strategy would play out at a pivotal point for humanity's struggle to rein in out-of-control climate change.
The IPCC's newly released report states that even with immediate action it could take 20 to 30 years for global temperatures to stabilise.
But even with those challenges the draft document suggests Bendigo is already seeing "vast benefits" that came from an earlier version of the policy.
That 2016 document triggered reforms like Greening Greater Bendigo, the strategy the council is using to try to cool streets by planting more shade trees, new bike paths, projects to heal Bendigo's creeks and organics kerbside bin collections.
Council staff said the new draft strategy would reduce power bills while boosting jobs and the economy.
That would in part come through new targets to make Bendigo into a "circular economy" that uses as much as possible of the waste currently going to landfill.
The council would divert 72 per cent of that waste by 2026 under the draft plan. It would get to zero by 2036.
The draft strategy would also include targets for more public transport and walking paths, as well as 60 per cent of the area's farms qualifying for lower council rates because they use sustainable practices.
"There is still a lot to do if we are to meet the challenges of our times and avoid the worst of the negative outcomes, but if we act now, we will reap the benefits," council staff wrote in the draft.
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