Victoria’s climate is already changing and is likely to continue to do so in the future, posing significant risks to the State.
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This report accompanies The Critical Decade: Climate Change Science, Risks and Responses and highlights key climate change impacts and opportunities for Victoria:
- Many types of climate-related extreme weather events in Victoria are expected to increase in frequency and intensity.
- The number of hot days has increased over the last few decades and is expected to continue increasing into the future. Critical infrastructure, such as roads, railways and power lines, is vulnerable to prolonged exposure to high temperatures.
- Conditions for large and intense bushfires are likely to become more common in the future. The number of ‘very high’ and ‘extreme’ fire danger days could increase significantly over the last few decades.
- Over the last 40 years much of eastern and southern Australia has become drier, with Victoria experiencing a 10-20% reduction in autumn and winter rain over the last 20 years.
- Global sea-level rise is tracking near the highest levels scientists expect. This means that a potential 1m rise over this century is a serious risk threatening Victoria’s iconic beaches, and thousands of residential and commercial buildings.
- Victoria has substantial renewable energy resources. Victoria receives enough energy from the sun to produce double the State’s currently energy needs, and parts of Victoria have some of the best conditions in the world to harness wind energy.
- Around the world, investment in renewable energy is growing strongly and costs are rapidly coming down. For instance, in 2012 the cost of solar was already competitive with retail electricity prices in some countries.
- Making our cities more sustainable can also make them healthier and more liveable, while reducing energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
- Improving the environmental performance of buildings, for instance by using more energy efficient lighting, heating, cooling and refrigeration, offers opportunities to save energy costs and provide healthier conditions for workers. Melbourne has world class examples of green buildings.
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