All of Tweed Shire Council's roles and responsibilities, including infrastructure and service provision to the local community, have the potential to be affected by the impacts of climate change.
Tweed Shire Council aims to meet the challenges posed by climate change in three ways:
Raising awareness - building a strong knowledge base in the local community about individual, community and local government roles in addressing climate change.
Reducing emissions - reducing operational emissions through the delivery of energy and fuel efficiency measures, investing in renewable energy technologies and facilitating low carbon lifestyles in the local community
Preparing for change - identifying and responding to the range of environmental, social and economic pressures that climate change and associated policy responses will pose to Tweed Shire Council and the community it serves.
Reducing Local Emissions
Since 2003 Tweed Shire Council has used the Local Action Plan for Greenhouse Gas Reduction (659kB PDF)
to monitor and reduce emissions from its own operations while providing education and support for community emission reduction. Visit Sustainable Operations
to find out more.
Changing climate conditions
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released their Fifth Assessment Report in 2014. Thousands of scientists from over 195 countries contributed to the report which found greenhouse gas emissions from human activity are the highest in history, are influencing the climate system and having widespread impacts on human and natural systems.
The report says:
'Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, inccreasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in greenhouse gas emissions which, together with adaptation, can limit climate change risks.'
A snapshot of climate change in the North Coast produced in 2014 by the Office of Environment and Heritage, in partnership with the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of New South Wales suggests:
- maximum temperatures are projected to increase in the near future (2020 - 2039) by 0.4 - 1.0oC, and increase in the far future (2060 - 2079) by 1.5 - 2.4oC
- minimum temperatures are projected to increase in the near future by 0.5 - 1.0oC, and increase in the far future by 1.6 - 2.5oC
- the number of hot days will increase
- the number of cold nights will decrease- rainfall is projected to decrease in winter and increase in autumn and spring
- average fire weather is projected to increase in summer and spring
- severe fire weather days are project to increase in summer and spring
Climate Change Adaptation
Preparing the North Coast region for the impacts of climate change is imperative. Six major themes are key factors in the resilience of the North Coast to current and future climate impacts:
The narrow coastal plain, and sensitivity to changes in flooding and sea level rise
Population demographics and change
Infrastructure and settlements exposed to current and future climate impacts
Regional networks, making them strong and effective
Leadership across government, business and the community for an adaptive region
Funding models and priorities, including increasing cost pressures and revenue losses.
Click here to find out more about the 2016 North Coast Integrated Regional Vulnerability Assessment