Changes in our environment such as drought, severe storms, heat waves, floods and sea level rise are all considered effects of climate change or global warming.
Climate change or global warming occurs when there is a build up of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere which limits the amount of heat leaving earth through the atmosphere, causing the earth to warm. When the global temperature of the earth increases, the climate changes and this results in changes in our weather conditions. The increase in the global earth temperature has a direct and major affect on melting of the arctic ice bergs and ice shelf. The melted ice runs into the sea and causes the average sea level to rise.
Greenhouse gases are the main cause of global warming and climate change. Release of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere is the main issue contributing to climate change. Carbon dioxide is released during the burning of fossil fuels such as when coal is burnt to produce electricity and when petrol is combusted by vehicles.
Almost everything we do or buy in our daily lives releases carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. Due to increased human activity the amount of carbon dioxide released has increased over past decades to alarming levels that indicate significant changes to our climate in the future.
We can all try to live more sustainably by:
We can collectively reduce our carbon footprint as individuals or in the workplace.
As many of us are aware, the climate in Australia is changing, this brings challenges for the City of Canada Bay.
It is likely the City will experience hotter and drier summers, milder winters, more rainfall, an increased risk of flooding, a rise in sea levels and more extreme weather events including strong winds, lightning, hail storms and heat waves.
To reduce our vulnerability to climate change, the City of Canada Bay is anticipating potential climate issues and putting measures and actions in place to respond to these.
Action on climate change can be separated into two categories: mitigation and adaptation.
Mitigation refers to activities that aim to reduce climate change or the rate of change. Examples of mitigation include driving less and using less fossil fuels.
Adaptation refers to activities that aim to reduce the potential negative impacts of climate change, and capitalise on any new opportunities. Examples include planning for sea level rise and providing heat relief centres.
Climate Adaptation Plan
The City of Canada Bay is planning for the effects of climate change through preparation of a Climate Adaptation Plan. The Plan was developed through participation in the Adaptive and Resilient Communities (ARC) Program, a national capacity-building program run by International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives.
The Climate Adaptation Plan and Implementation Plan will provide a framework for Council to incorporate climate risks into plans for the future and will increase the awareness of climate change and potential impacts with our community.
Council is committed to providing a green, healthy and liveable City for our community with a focus on sustainability and climate change. Council will report to our community on the progress of the Climate Adaptation Action and Implementation Plan and provide opportunities for discussion through climate change conversations with our community.
The City of Canada Bay has been a member of the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Adaptive and Resilient Communities (ARC) Program since June 2009.
The ARC Program framework uses a tested five-phase risk and opportunities management approach. This framework has been adapted from the Australian Government’s Climate Change Impacts and Risk Management Guide for Business and Government (2006), to incorporate adaptive management principles and cater for the specific needs of local government planning and decision-making.
The program assisted Council to prepare a Climate Adaptation Action and Implementation Plan for the City.
Visit the Adaptive and Resilient Communities website for more information.