Abstract: Global cities are now engaging in a range of initiatives and strategic efforts to effect a low carbon transition in response to climate change. There is currently limited research that compares internationally how different cities are responding to the challenge or whether the intention to transition to a low carbon city can be realised in different urban contexts. In response, an ESRC funded international comparative urban research network has been set up involving researchers from the UK, Australia, China, India, South Africa and the US. The network, over four years, is focusing on research and policy issues involved in comparing and researching the broader dynamics and implications of low carbon urban transitions. As partners in this network, our research is contributing to this comparative network and focuses on low carbon urban transitions in the Australian context. In this paper, we present findings from a review of low carbon initiatives in Australia with a particular focus on Melbourne, Victoria exploring the policy context in which these initiatives and responses have emerged, the typical approaches adopted and the implications for urban change and governance. We examine the roles of, and relationships between, different levels of government, climate change alliances, community/environmental organisations and other actors, and outline a ‘schema’ for assessing the progress of urban low carbon transitions. We identify some significant short comings and policy disconnects which we argue are limiting progress towards a low carbon future in Victoria.