Moyne Shire will be part of a climate alliance between south-west councils that are joining forces to draw down emissions, despite one councillor opposing signing up.
The Barwon South West Climate Alliance, being led by Warrnambool City, could include most councils spanning from Geelong to the South Australian border.
The region is the last in Victoria to be without a climate alliance, and Moyne Shire councillors voted 6-1 on Tuesday to join for 12 months.
Moyne's officers recommended the council should join the alliance, which required a $15,000 annual membership fee, and came with opportunities for local governments to work together on large-scale projects to reduce emissions.
Projects could include bulk buying of electric vehicles, charging stations on council land, united plans for sea level rise and floods, and shared goals for carbon neutrality.
Cr Karen Foster described signing up as a " no brainer" for the council.
"We can achieve so much more as a collective across the Barwon south-west region than we could ever as one council on its own," she said.
"This is our opportunity to get together with our neighbours and attract new funding that we wouldn't otherwise have had ... to tackle what I believe is the biggest, most serious challenge of our time."
But Cr Jim Doukas expressed fears that the agricultural industry could be adversely affected, despite the council's acting environment director Leah Johnston earlier in the meeting stating this was unfounded.
"They will do something to say they will benefit the councils, but over time ... they will want to put a levy on the farmers, it will be $50 a cow for a methane levy, $20 a sheep," Cr Doukas said in comments he offered no evidence for.
"This is a little con-act to suck us all in with this feel-good stuff ... the best thing we can do with this organisation is stay well away and run our own show."
Farmers including councillors Ian Smith and Daniel Meade supported joining the alliance, with Cr Meade saying he shared concerns for farmers but argued it was "more beneficial to be at the table and be an advocate for agriculture" than to reject the invitation.
Cr Jordan Lockett said the council had a responsibility to future generations, pointing to the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change findings that the world was in for a 1.5 degrees temperature rise above pre-industrial levels by 2040.
"You can't play cricket at East Beach over winter. It is occurring now and it's happening right on our shore," he said.
Cr Foster said the vast majority of farmers she knew were highly concerned about climate change.
"They are at the forefront," she said.
Council documents credit two similar alliances in central and eastern Victoria with saving communities more than $3 million and reducing hundreds of thousands of carbon dioxide emissions.
Councils including Geelong are already signing up but Colac Otway Shire narrowly voted to decline to join last week and Corangamite Shire voted to ask the state government to pay its membership fee for the first year.
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