If we act together now, we can fight for a safe climate future. Find out more about getting started with 350 Australia, or how to host a screening of Accelerate in your community to raise awareness of how we can take climate action.

With a background in advocacy and a passion for the natural world, Katie Pahlow wants to help others find their own personal drive to protect the planet and take action against climate change.

“I want to support Victorians with the inspiration, understanding and tools to achieve their goal of taking meaningful action on climate change,” Katie said. From her experience in roles at Zoos Victoria and her current role as Director, Communications & Engagement at Sustainability Victoria, Katie is well-versed on the subject of the human impact on our planet.

“As a Victorian, I feel that we live in such an amazing place and I want to keep it that way. This role presented an opportunity to help shape the state of the future and help Victoria work towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050,” she said.

We spoke with Katie about how Victorians feel regarding climate change, practical steps everyone can take to tackle it, and how the goal of zero emissions by 2050 is possible if we all act together now.

What do Victorians think about climate change?

In her role at Sustainability Victoria, Katie has a front row view of the devastating effects widespread human impact is leaving upon the local environment.

“In Victoria, we are already feeling the effects of climate change, with higher temperatures, longer fire seasons and rising sea levels,” she said.

“Sustainability Victoria conducted a state-wide survey with the aim of gaining baseline quantitative data on Victorian residents’ attitudes, beliefs and behaviours in relation to climate change.

“[We found that] 91% of Victorians accept that climate change exists and are concerned about it, and 78% said the issue needs urgent action now,” Katie explained.

For Katie and others acutely aware of the changes in the local environment, action against climate impacts can’t come soon enough.

“It’s already apparent to me in my lifetime that weather events are becoming more extreme and the seasons are changing. Dry weather and drought is more apparent and frequent than I can remember it being at any other time in my life,” Katie said.

In the same research, Sustainability Victoria uncovered that 80% of Victorians are willing to act on climate change, and 82% believe their actions can make a difference.

“With this willingness, Sustainability Victoria aims to be the first port of call for Victorians [in search of] inspiring and practical ideas, environmental advice, and help for using resources wisely.”

How everyone can play their part

“Our ideas, knowledge and connections save both money and the environment, and help us to achieve more together. Collective action by individuals, businesses, government, schools, institutions and community groups can help to stop the effects of climate change,” she said.

“The state of the future is in our hands. What we do today is how we live tomorrow – the health of our environment, the strength of our economies, the resilience of our communities – all shaped by our words and actions today.

“The good news is that we can fight climate change, if we act together now.”

In 2016, the Victorian Government launched TAKE2 – a collective climate change program that supports individuals, businesses, government, and educational and community organisations to take meaningful action to reduce climate change.

“This program [delivered by Sustainability Victoria] is the first state government-led pledge initiative in Australia … and is one of the most comprehensive pledge programs of its kind in the world,” Katie said.

Food waste is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. For Katie and Sustainability Victoria, providing individuals and businesses with practical advice to tackle it is instrumental in reducing its impact on the environment.

“Hospitality businesses can join our Love Food Hate Waste program to assist them reduce food waste. We provide a range of tools and materials for hospitality venues to take 3 easy steps to avoid and reduce food waste, while saving their businesses money.

Households can join our Love a List challenge to help reduce food waste and save money, while also helping reduce the impacts of climate change by preventing food waste ending up in landfill,” Katie said.

Katie and Sustainability Victoria encourage greater understanding of your impact and practical actions to address it.

If we act together now, we can fight for a safe climate future. Find out more about getting started with 350 Australia, or how to host a screening of Accelerate in your community to raise awareness of how we can take climate action.