Sydney Lord Mayor on preparing for the challenge of a changing climate

By Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore

The City of Sydney has been carbon neutral since 2008. Amidst strong economic growth, emissions across our Local Government Area have fallen 12 per cent since 2006 and we have reduced emissions in our own buildings and operations by over 23 per cent.

In continuing our work to create a sustainable city, we have recently completed a landmark plan to help prepare for the impacts of climate change, including more heatwaves and extreme weather.

Heavy rainfall and deluges like those that flooded parts of Sydney and the Hunter Valley in April are expected to remain a feature of Sydney’s weather patterns and become increasingly common. (Photo credit: City of Sydney)

The Climate Adaptation Strategy includes a series of actions to address these impacts, such as heatwave response, flood management, and sea level rise adaptation.

There is no more important issue for the long-term success of Sydney than addressing climate change. We know that the effects are already being felt, and by 2070 our city will be more than 3 degrees warmer than it is today. 

As our climate changes, the hottest days will become hotter, more frequent and last longer, leading to strain on vital infrastructure, community health and air quality.

Through the Climate Adaptation Strategy and working with our community, businesses and other levels of government, we will build our capacity to adapt and respond to a changing climate and maintain the wellbeing and prosperity of our global city. 

When consulted our community on a long-term plan for our city’s future, the top priority for many people was taking meaningful action on climate change.

The resulting plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030, lays out a vision for becoming a green, global and connected city. We are now well on track to meet our ambitious greenhouse gas reduction target of 70 percent below 2006 levels by 2030.

The City’s draft climate adaptation plan is available for public feedback here.

For more information about cities and climate change, visit the C40 blog and follow @c40cities on Twitter.

Changing Planet

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Meet the Author
The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) is a network of large and engaged cities from around the world committed to implementing meaningful and sustainable climate-related actions locally that will help address climate change globally. Recognizing that cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70% of global CO2 emissions, our organization’s global field staff works with city governments, supported by our technical experts across a range of program areas to reduce carbon emissions and increase energy efficiency in large cities across the world. The current chair of the C40 is Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes, and 108th Mayor of New York City Michael R. Bloomberg is President of the Board. The Steering Committee includes: Berlin, Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Hong Kong, Houston, Jakarta, Johannesburg, London, Los Angeles, Rio de Janeiro, Seoul and Tokyo.