Getting ready for climate change

Our new climate adaptation strategy outlines a plan of actions to safeguard Sydney against the threat of soaring temperatures, worsening storms and rising sea levels. The plan has been developed in collaboration with major science organisations, top businesses and the community, with an independent citizen’s panel offering community input and rating climate action priorities.

The most popular climate change actions from the community include:

  • 92% – trees and plants for shade, cooling and shelter
  • 88% – open space and infrastructure for changing rainfall
  • 87% – buildings, streets and open space to withstand extreme heat
  • 86% – factoring climate change into all future City decisions
  • 84% – lobbying for design and building codes that plan for climate change.
The biggest challenge with climate change for the City remains moving fast enough to cut carbon emissions, with average temperatures already jumping 0.9C. Priority actions recommended in the strategy include:

  • developing a heatwave response plan
  • raising awareness about climate-related events such as air pollution, bushfires and heatwaves
  • developing a sea level rise adaptation action plan
  • working with energy companies to assess trigger points and potential vulnerability of the city’s power supply
  • calling for changes to engineering and building standards and codes to address climate change.

The City’s climate adaptation plan is part of a series of environmental strategies, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, advanced waste treatment and decentralised water management.

Environmental leadership

An important part of our Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision is a commitment to environmental leadership.

The City of Sydney is Australia’s first carbon neutral local government and aims to reduce carbon emissions by 70 per cent by 2030 – one of the most ambitious targets set by any government in Australia.

A suite of green infrastructure master plans have been developed to achieve the City’s targets for energy efficiency, renewable energy, tri-generation, waste and water.

The City’s climate adaptation strategy is a landmark plan prepared with major science groups earlier this year to help deal with issues ranging from changing rainfall patterns and rising sea levels to more severe heat waves.

To reach its target the City is ‘showing by doing’ and taking strong action to slash emissions and improve energy efficiency across its own buildings and operations. The City is working with businesses and residents to reduce emissions by inspiring and educating through workshops and programs.

Paris climate change talks

The 21st Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change met in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015.

Lord Mayor Clover Moore was invited to participate, including:

  • Resilience Day – 100 Resilient Cities together with UN Habitat and the World Bank showcased mayors, especially those who have released or will soon release their climate change strategies.
  • C40 Awards Ceremony – the City of Sydney was nominated for our Residential Apartments Sustainability Plan.
  • Climate Summit for Local Leaders – C40 forum with sessions highlighting the successes of inter-city collaboration, how city leaders are driving market place change and the need for more financial support to ensure future low carbon cities.

The City has welcomed the breakthrough climate deal achieved in Paris. Global leaders from nearly 200 nations have joined together in a bid to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. 

Media releases

Accelerating carbon reduction to cure climate

Town Hall, Sydney - 24th June 2016. The City of Sydney leads by example with its Sustainable Sydney 2030 vision. As part of upgrades to Sydney Town Hall, the City of Sydney has installed 240 highly efficient Suntech Pluto solar panels. This is the largest photovoltaic installation in the Sydney CBD. Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
The City of Sydney has taken a major step in what is fast becoming a defining year for sustainability, with the adoption of an action plan to make our city net zero emissions by 2050. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said … Continued

Free trees to grow the urban forest

National Tree Day
The City of Sydney’s annual free tree giveaway returns to Sydney Park on Saturday 1 April, with residents invited to help grow the urban forest in their backyards, courtyards or common areas. Lord Mayor Clover Moore said citrus, bottle brush, … Continued

Women excelling in non-traditional roles

73 Bourke Street, Wooloomooloo - 6th March 2017. 65 year old Jennifer Khan has been working in the City of Sydney's cleansing and waste team for ten years, excelling in a department that is traditionally dominated by males. Photograph by Katherine Griffiths.
A long-term commitment to gender equity has resulted in women accounting for 43 per cent of all management positions at the City of Sydney, including Chief Executive Officer. But women are not just making it big in management, they are … Continued

Pick up a pot of Living Colour

The summer 2017 edition of Living Colour, with more than 100,000 blooms across Sydney CBD and surrounding suburbs.
Photo by Damian Shaw / City of Sydney
Sydneysiders are invited to pick up a pot of living colour at Sydney Park on Sunday, where hundreds of floral blooms and edibles used in the Living Colour displays are given away in exchange for a gold coin donation. The … Continued

Community support zero waste to landfill

City e-waste collectio day
Sydneysiders can safely dispose of their old TVs, computers, power tools and other unwanted electronic items at the City of Sydney’s next e-waste collection day: Saturday 11 March, Sydney Park. The Lord Mayor said the City’s efforts to encourage responsible … Continued

Bigger city park a boon for locals

Wimbo Park
Inner city residents will soon be able to enjoy a great big new Wimbo Park in Surry Hills, with barbeques, trampolines, seating, lawns and native trees right in the heart of the busy suburb. The City of Sydney negotiated with … Continued

Environmental Action 2016–2021 strategy and action plan

We are seeking your feedback on the City’s draft Environmental Action 2016–2021 strategy and action plan.

The strategy and action plan explains how we aim to improve our operational and local area environmental performance from 2016 to 2021.

The exhibition was open from 30 June to 12 August 2016.

Sydney Your Say  

Please note: Our climate adaptation strategy is a supporting document to the draft Environmental Action 2016–2021 strategy and action plan, which is the City's most up to date set of environmental targets and actions.

Last updated: Friday, 12 August 2016