29 Aug, 2019

City of Adelaide joins worldwide climate change movement

The City of Adelaide has joined 36 councils across Australia and more than 900 worldwide to declare that climate change should be treated as a national emergency.

The Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Sandy Verschoor, will advocate and work with other tiers of government to take urgent action and to understand, disclose and manage risks related to climate change.

“The City of Adelaide has an internationally recognised reputation for leadership in sustainability practices and policy. Through the Council of Capital City Lord Mayors, Australia’s capital city leaders have confirmed their commitment to effective and outcomes-driven action,” said the Lord Mayor.

“Already the cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart and Darwin have declared a climate emergency and are working with all tiers of government to take climate change action.

“Our climate is getting hotter and more extreme, with Adelaide experiencing the hottest day on record in January this year. Over the past 10 years we have had the highest number of extreme heat days ever recorded.

“A hotter climate will undermine our food and water security, and challenge liveability as it will impact how and where we live, work and play.

“As we heard from our Audit Committee Chair recently, climate related risks, both financial and material, impact how we manage our infrastructure, our economy and how we ensure our city remains resilient and liveable into the future.

“Impacts that will flow from a hotter climate to our city include to our wellbeing, economy, property values, insurance premiums and liveability.

“We need to act now.”

Councillor Robert Simms moved the motion on Tuesday night on behalf of the Lord Mayor.

“This decision really cements Adelaide’s status as a leader in climate change action,” Councillor Simms said.

“City residents and ratepayers want us to advocate for strong action from all levels of government to ensure we respond appropriately to the climate emergency.”

The City of Adelaide has had a long-time commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare the city for the impacts of climate change. This year it has budgeted $1.6 million for sustainability programs and projects.

It will continue to assess and mitigate climate risks including physical, transitional and liability risks and prepare the community to be climate ready through emergency preparedness activities and events.

Action includes a commitment to transitioning to a carbon neutral organisation by 2020, with a 100 per cent renewable energy contract and over 1.1 megawatts of solar power, along with creating greener buildings.

Projects to assist Adelaide in becoming a greener, cooler city include planting 1,500 street trees, increasing the use of recycled GAP water, installing water sensitive urban design features in our streets and trialling cool road materials.

The call to take urgent climate action is increasingly being taken up by leading scientists and responsible leaders around the world as extreme events escalate.

Globally 2016 was the hottest year on record with an alarming global temperature spike of more than 1.5°C warming in February 2016. We continue to see the ravages of climate change with the Amazon rainforest on fire, bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and the decline in health of ancient Tasmanian forests.

Find out more about the City of Adelaide’s climate change actions.

For more information

Paula Stevens