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Climate Change

Our goal is to improve the resilience of communities, assets and infrastructure, local economies and natural environments so we can cope with the challenges and opportunities of climate change.

About climate change

Payneham South - Winning Sustainable Garden - November 2018-20

Climate change is one of the most serious environmental challenges facing the world. It affects our whole society - socially, economically and environmentally.

Human activity and land use changes continue to release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Scientific evidence shows that these actions are causing a warming of the atmosphere and oceans. This is changing the climate at a rate that cannot be attributed to natural variability alone.

Global warming has seen Australia experiencing warmer weather and more days with extreme heat and fewer cooler extremes, significant changes to rainfall patterns and greater exposure to hazards that result from this changing climate. This includes floods, storm events, droughts, bushfires, heatwaves, rising sea levels and increases in diseases and pests. The impacts of climate change are already being felt in our council area and across Adelaide.

For more information, visit:

Managing climate change impacts locally

The City of Norwood Payneham & St Peters has conducted a risk assessment of the impacts of climate change across the Council area.

The key impact areas that were identified were:

  • long term management of public open space
  • increased management of pest plants and animals
  • increased infrastructure management costs
  • streetscape management
  • business continuity planning.

Climate change adaptation initiatives

A summary of the Council's climate change adaption initiatives:

  • the Council is a partner of Resilient East, a climate change initiative between state and local governments. Together we are taking a collaborative approach to ensure the eastern Adelaide region can cope with the impacts of climate change
  • in February 2019, Council with Resilient East, held a community event called Feeling Hot Hot Hot! This event guided the audience through a hypothetical heatwave for eastern Adelaide in 2025, raising awareness and increasing community and industry action on climate change. It was attended by 489 community members and focused on understanding how our community responds to and prepares for extreme heat and heatwaves
  • an online heat mapping tool was launched at Feeling Hot Hot Hot!. This was a partnership project delivered by Council, Resilient East, the Government of South Australia and other Adelaide metropolitan councils. The tool has now been expanded to include tree canopy cover using LiDAR technology. You can use this tool to reduce heat and increase plantings in your own yard. We have also created fun and interactive factsheets to guide you through the platform
  • in November 2018, a new planting methodology was implemented which provides street trees with greater oxygenation during the first two years of their life, giving them the best chance to thrive and grow. Trees help to capture and store carbon dioxide which helps to minimise climate change. They also provide shade and cooling to cool our City and reduce urban heat
  • the Council maintains a strong focus on mitigating and adapting to the impacts of a changing climate
  • the Council has a target included in our City Plan 2030 to reduce the amount of corporate greenhouse gas emissions by 5% from the 2015–2016 level of 2264 tonnes by 2020–2021
  • as at 30 June 2018, the Council achieved an overall emissions reduction of 9.4% against the 2015–2016 baseline year
  • during 2018–2019, the Council commenced its transition of street lighting to Light Emitting Diode (LED) technology. This transition has reduced corporate CO2 emissions by approximately 550 tonnes per annum, representing a further 3% (approximately) reduction in the Council’s annual greenhouse gas emissions.

Resilient East

Resilient East is a regional climate initiative between state and local government organisations in eastern Adelaide. It is about making sure the eastern region remains a vibrant, desirable and productive place to live, work and visit, and that our businesses, communities and environments can respond positively to the challenges and opportunities presented by a changing climate. 

Our partnership includes Campbelltown City Council, the Cities of Adelaide, Burnside, Norwood Payneham and St Peters, Prospect, Tea Tree Gully, Unley, the Town of Walkerville, the Government of South Australia and Green Adelaide.

Resilient East regularly works with agencies and organisations from all levels of government, NGOs, community groups, individuals and the private sector. 

Our goal is to improve the resilience of communities, assets and infrastructure, local economies and natural environments in the Resilient East region, so we can cope with the challenges and opportunities of climate change. 

Resilient East aims to:

  • Build the adaptive capacity of our community
  • Create meaningful action
  • Overcome barriers to adaptation
  • Facilitate opportunities
  • Support practical and relevant adaptation measures
  • Improve collaborative approaches, including sharing knowledge and experience, and, reducing risks and costs associated with climate change and adaptation initiatives.

Resilient East has identified the vulnerabilities, risks and level of adaptive capacity across the eastern region and has developed a Climate Change Adaptation Plan and Action Plan with input from government, business and community organisations.

The Climate Change Adaptation Plan offers a range of regional and local adaption pathways, which will help eastern region communities, businesses and the natural environment adapt, thrive and prosper. The Action Plan sets out our priorities for the eastern region over the coming years. It will help us implement the Adaptation Plan, and guide the actions we will take together as local and state governments to ensure regional benefits.

Together with Council, Resilient East is getting climate ready, and we’d love you to join us!

For more information, to get involved or to sign up to the Resilient East e-newsletter , visit: Resilient East