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 businesses save big by cutting emissions – top move for bottom line

City buildings
City of Sydney, Lord Mayor Clover Moore today announced that Sydney’s top commercial landlords had cut 45 per cent of their emissions since 2006, saving an impressive $30 million a year. The City of Sydney-led Better Buildings Partnership includes the … Continued

National accolades for climate-conscious business leaders

CitySwitvh winners
Smart green companies earned national recognition last night for leading the way with energy-efficient buildings and slashing carbon emissions. The CitySwitch Green Office awards are a prestigious event recognising environmental excellence across the Australian business community. NSW winners for 2015 … Continued

Report backs Sydney’s action against extreme weather threat

Sydney storms
The City of Sydney’s ambitious actions to slash emissions have been backed by a new report, confirming global warming is intensifying the impact of extreme weather events globally with Sydney at risk from heatwaves, droughts and sea level rise. The … Continued

Sydney recognised as driver for global climate action

Sydney Harbour
The City of Sydney has been recognised for international excellence alongside Buenos Aires, Copenhagen and Milan in an international index of the top 100 city responses to climate change. The Cities100 index is developed by C40, a network of the … Continued

Solar power on tap at Newtown brewery

Young Henry's owner Oscar MacMahon and Pingala's Jake Steele
The City of Sydney is helping a community group build a solar power plant on top of their local brewery to slash emissions and boost renewable energy in the heart of the inner west. Grant funding will help community group … 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