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

Sydney swimmers say thanks a million

Eric Hung (centre) from Paddington is the 1 Millionth customer at Prince Alfred Mark Pool in Surry Hills, David Riordan (city of Sydney operations director) (right) and James Ellender (NSW state manger for Belgravier the company that manages the pool) (left).
Photo by Damian Shaw / City of Sydney
Sweltering Sydneysiders have flocked to the City of Sydney’s award-winning pools in record numbers to escape the prolonged heatwave. More than one million customers have now passed through the turnstiles of the City’s five fitness and aquatic centres in just … Continued

Heatwaves are Sydney’s deadliest threat

Sydney - September 17, 2015: (l-r) Beck Dawson and Lord Mayor of Sydney Clover Moore at the announcement of Beck Dawson's appointment as Sydney's City Resilience Officer (photo by Jamie Williams/City of Sydney)
Heatwaves pose a more deadly and destabilising threat to the Sydney metropolitan area than all other potential natural or unnatural disasters, with Sydney’s Chief Resilience Officer Beck Dawson calling for a greater level of planning and preparation to combat future … Continued

Fitness station a new favourite for Rosebery residents

Morgan Huida using the new Turruwul Park fitness hub.
Photo by Damian Shaw / City of Sydney
Rosebery residents can dip, crunch and bench their way through 2017 at Turruwul Park’s new fitness hub. Part of the City of Sydney’s park equipment fitness program, the new exercise station offers a range of workouts for strength, cardio and … Continued

Sydney honours Danish architect Jan Gehl

Barrack Street artist impression
The man behind the City of Sydney’s plan to pedestrianise George Street, bring inner-city laneways to life and make Sydney a walking and cycling-friendly destination has been awarded the key to the city. In a ceremony at Sydney Town Hall … Continued

Stunning summer blooms brighten up Sydney

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
Workers feeling gloomy about returning to the office will be cheered up by bright summer blooms at some of the city’s most popular public spaces. The summer edition of the City of Sydney’s Living Colour display is underway, with more … Continued

New technologies shaping future cities

Green Cities 2016 - Michael Zorbas Rob Stokes Lucy Turnbull Clover Moore Steve Yiu Mark Watts - large (2)
New technologies shaping cities around the world will be under the spotlight at Australia’s top building sustainability conference in Sydney next year. Thousands of planners, urban designers and property experts are expected to attend the City of Sydney-sponsored Green Cities … 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