Two 'Regional Climate Alliances' will be set up in Western Australia this year, thanks to a State government commitment of $500,000 to support local government collaboration on climate change.
A six-week expression of interest period opened this week, with all regional local governments invited to submit their proposals to join forces with neighbouring governments to address the effects of climate change and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Regional Climate Alliance Initiative is a commitment under the Western Australian Climate Policy aimed at strengthening climate change adaptation and mitigation capability and action in regional WA.
The alliance model has been successfully implemented in other Australian jurisdictions and improves knowledge sharing and collaborative responses to climate change on a regional scale.
The Department of Water and Environmental Regulation (DWER) and Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries (DLGSC) will oversee the initiative and the Western Australian Local Government Association (WALGA) will help administer the fund by providing advice and support.
Funding will be used to support two Regional Climate Alliance Coordinators, and to deliver emissions reduction and resilience-building projects demonstrating economic, environmental and social benefits within local government areas.
Examples of potential projects include:
- adding solar panels to local government facilities;
- delivering behaviour change programs to reduce energy use or improve resilience across the community; and
- increasing tree canopies in town centres to improve urban cooling.
Once established, the alliances will be invited to submit proposals for project funding for specific climate change actions, with a total of $200,000 available over two years.
The initiative will be evaluated and considered for possible expansion in mid-2023.
Local governments wishing to register an expression of interest can visit the WALGA website for all application details.
Expressions of interest close on June 21, 2021, with successful applicants expected to be announced shortly after.
Climate Action Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said every level of government needed to do its best to address climate change.
She said many local governments were stepping up to the challenge.
"Our goal is to see how we can use this model to build capability and increase knowledge sharing across local governments to address climate change on a regional scale," Ms Sanderson said.
"We want to see the development of strong and effective emissions reduction and climate change adaptation projects, designed and implemented by local government alliances."