Climate Change

Climate change is one of the biggest issues facing us today. Scientific evidence tells us that increasing levels of greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere are having a profound effect on our climate and oceans and the Earth’s systems. These are caused directly or indirectly by our activity as humans.

Addressing the challenges of climate change requires all of us to act—individuals, households, schools, community groups, business and government. Together we can make a big difference.

The ACT is a world leader with climate change. We have the most ambitious greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets in the country and equal first of any region in the world. These targets are designed to keep us on track—moving forward—and make the ACT a sustainable and carbon neutral city.

They targets are outlined in the Climate Change and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Act 2010:

  • 100% renewable energy by 2020
  • 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions on 1990 levels by 2020
  • zero net emissions (carbon neutrality) by 2050.

Be part of the journey

If you want to join the journey and help us, as an ACT community, adapt to climate change, visit Actsmart, the ACT Government’s online sustainability hub. At Actsmart, you’ll find practical and free online tools, services, guides, programs and tips that cover what you can do at home, work, school and community.

Also on Actsmart you can read more about what the ACT Government is doing to achieve its targets, including by rolling out energy saving programs across homes, businesses and organisations, implementing renewable energy projects, driving policy and more.

More information:

Climate Change Strategy

Action Plan 2 cover The ACT Government’s climate change strategy and action plan, AP2, is driven by our commitment, as a community, to address climate change and our understanding that we, as a community working together, can and will make a positive contribution to global climate change.

This is the ACT’s second climate change strategy. Its targets are born of necessity. The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence indicates that the way we produce and consume, particularly our burning of non-renewable fossil fuels, is not sustainable.

AP2 is the path forward for transforming our city. Through it we will continue to grow and prosper while reducing our emissions. We will continue to be a leader nationally and internationally, including in advanced and developing economies around the world.

More information on what the Government is doing.

Climate Change Adaptation Strategy

To enable us to adapt to a changing climate, or to change the way we do things to cope with a changing climate, the ACT Government is preparing a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the Territory. This will help us identify our priorities for adapting to climate change and coordinate our work so we’re effective in building resilience.

The strategy is important because climate projections for our region indicate warmer and drier conditions with increased frequency of natural disasters, including drought and bushfire, and severity of extreme weather events such as wild storms, flash flooding and prolonged heatwaves.

Extreme weather events particularly affect our most vulnerable people—the very young and old, the poor and sick. Natural disasters put significant strains on our health system and emergency services. It’s important that as a community we help each other to manage and bounce back from such events; that is, we’re resilient.

Consultation on the draft ACT Climate Change Adaptation Strategy: Living with a Warming Climate closed on 3 April 2016. The final strategy will be released in 2016.

More information about the strategy.

Ministerial Statement

Adapting to climate change means changing from business as usual. It means reconsidering the kind of city we’re building; making sure that what we build today suits and is functional for generations to come. In this way we’ll continue to enjoy the amenities we already have in the Territory

Climate change is an unprecedented challenge for our city, and one we must face together. It’s a shared responsibility.

These and other topics are covered by the statement made by the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development on 21 May 2014.

See more.

For more information

Contact or call Access Canberra on 13 22 81.