Climate Change

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Council's rolefront page of the climate change adaption plan 2009

"It is now widely recognised that the global atmosphere's ability to accept greenhouse gas emissions is limited without risking dangerous climate change. We can adapt to some changes in the climate, but adaptation is not expected to cope with all the projected impacts of climate change, especially over the long term. Mitigation efforts in the next few decades will have a large influence on whether greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere can be stabilised at a level low enough to reduce the risk of more serious climate change impacts." (CSIRO).

The role of local government in relation to climate change includes provision of local community governance, leadership, policy setting and decision making to adapt to the physical, environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change.

There are a range of things that Council and the community can do to try to reduce emissions from emissions intensive sources such as electricity generation and transport. For more information on energy efficiency ideas check out our Energy use at home webpage. And information on what we are doing can be found on our Emissions reduction plan page.

The enhanced greenhouse effect is causing climate change globally and is predicted to have local impacts. The CSIRO report Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Kiama Local Government Area was commissioned by Council as part of the review of our Local Environmental Plan. The report predicted that the following climate changes may occur in the Kiama area: increased temperatures, decreased rainfall, increased evaporation, more warm days and hot spells, fewer cool days and cool spells, changes to wind patterns, and an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme daily rainfall events. Such changes are predicted to have an impact on agriculture, water availability, biodiversity, bushfires, human health and infrastructure.

In 2009, we went through a Climate Change Risk Assessment process, and developed a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and Action Plan. This was undertaken as a regional project in partnership with Shellharbour and Wollongong City Councils and was funded by the Department of Climate Change. The main objectives of the strategy are to:

  • promote a cultural shift towards considering climate change risks in all Council's long term planning, financial management, operations and service delivery
  • utilise the Southern Councils group as a vehicle to lobby to all levels of government to support adaptation actions
  • engage with the local community to increase awareness of climate change risks and encourage ownership of initiatives
  • build on existing links and relationships between all levels of government, volunteer groups and organisations to deliver a consistent approach to adaptation

What you can do

Just some of the simple but important changes we can make in our homes and lives to become more energy efficient include:

  • switch to solar hot water
  • insulate your walls and ceiling to reduce heat loss or gain
  • get rid of any old second fridges - you can even be paid to have it taken away and disposed of responsibility through the Fridge Buyback scheme
  • replace incandescent light globes and down lights with energy efficient globes
  • walk, cycle and use public transport rather than rely on your car
  • select energy efficient new appliances - check www.energyrating.gov.au for more info on the labels to look out for
  • wash in cold water and dry your clothes in the sun when possible
  • turn off appliances at the wall when not in use
  • install AAA rated showerheads to reduce hot water use
  • Purchase Green Power
  • install photovoltaic solar panels for household energy production

There are a range of initiatives and rebates available to help you make energy efficient changes.  Check out information on available programs and information at Department of Industry, Innovation and Science.

External links

There are a range of resources, websites and research organisations, which provide a range of information relating to national, regional and global climate change predictions, including: