Climate change

Climate Ready Tweed project – have your say

Council has engaged Griffith University to find out how the Tweed community wants to be supported to act on climate-related events, reduce its greenhouse gas emissions footprint and be prepared for local climate risks and impacts.

All Tweed Shire residents, 18 years and older, are invited to have their say in a community survey to understand residents’ knowledge and experiences with climate impacts as well as the actions residents already do or want to take in the future.

Residents who participate in the survey before 5 pm Monday 30 January 2023 will enter a draw to win an eco-friendly gift basket of products worth over $500 donated by local Tweed businesses or 4 runner-up prizes of $100 Why Leave Town vouchers to use locally.

Have your say online
Alternatively, contact Debbie Firestone on 02 6670 2555 to receive a hard copy survey.

Prize details

  • 2 hour consult for your existing or new veggie garden, home garden or orchard valued at $200 from Life a Little Greener
  • 2 Lunch Cruise vouchers from Tweed EcoCruises - valued at $188
  • Bunyarabugalma Bundjalung yoga DVD and flash card gift pack from Murwillumbah Community Centre valued at $130
  • A recycled plastic mat from Recycled Mats Tweed Heads valued at $115
  • ENJO car cleaning kit (personal delivery and lesson on use) valued at $115
  • 5L Duo Pack of Soil Microbes and Microbe Feeder valued at $89.50 or an on-site visit to discuss soil health further from SoiLife
  • Showbag of Ezi-Seal reusable food saving products from Anrise valued at $85
  • An eco-friendly prize pack from South Pole including Vesica stainless steel water bottle, tote bag, and bamboo pens valued at over $30

Prize draw terms and conditions(PDF, 135KB)

In early 2023, residents will also be invited to participate in community conversations and co-design of local community-led climate action and disaster preparedness strategies. Send us an email to receive an invite to the Climate Ready Tweed community conversations in 2023.

The project has been made possible by grant funding from the Australian Government with seed funding through the Griffith University.

Climate change in the Tweed

The Tweed’s wildlife, waterways, coastlines, utilities, infrastructure, businesses and communities are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

Climate change is projected to impact the North Coast in a range of ways:

  • increased maximum and minimum temperatures
  • increased number of hot days
  • decreased number of cold nights
  • 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 projected to increase in summer and spring

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency and severity of existing climate-related risks to a range of Tweed’s assets and activities. A joint climate risk analysis with Byron Shire Council in 2009 outlined key risks and adaptation actions relating to:

  • the introduction or proliferation of exotic plant, animal and insect species
  • loss of biodiversity
  • habitat displacement
  • increased flood level and frequency
  • higher evaporation and longer drought
  • effect on freshwater supply
  • coastal erosion
  • impacts on coastal development
  • decline in the local economy
  • increased bushfire events

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 2018 Special Report on the impact of global warming advocates for reducing global CO2 emissions by 45% from 2010 by 2030. To do this would ‘require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems (high confidence). These systems transitions are unprecedented in terms of scale, but not necessarily in terms of speed, and imply deep emissions reductions in all sectors, a wide portfolio of mitigation options and a significant up-scaling of investments in those options’.

Greenhouse gas emissions in the Tweed

Electricity in homes and businesses, transport fuels and waste are major sources of greenhouse gas emissions from across the Tweed.

From these major sources of emissions, we each create at least nine tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per person per year. Collectively we need to reduce our carbon footprint to less than four tonnes CO2-e per person per year to avoid dangerous changes in global temperatures.

Tweed Greenhouse Gas Emissions 2018/19

Source: snapshotclimate.com.au

Reducing emissions

Avoiding coal and gas sourced electricity is an important way to reduce the Tweed’s most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Find out how to reduce your electricity bills.

Increasing walking, cycling, public transport and renewable transport fuels is needed to tackle Tweed’s next most significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. Find out more information about electric vehicles.

Visit Council’s roads and transport page for details about footpaths, cycleways and public transport in the Tweed.

To work out your household’s carbon footprint, and to explore how your lifestyle contributes to greenhouse gas emissions, check out the Australian Greenhouse Calculator.

Find out more about a climate-friendly lifestyle.

Visit Sustainable Operations to find out more about Council's actions to reduce its emissions and environmental impacts.

Preparing for change

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:

  1. the narrow coastal plain, and sensitivity to changes in flooding and sea level rise
  2. population demographics and change
  3. infrastructure and settlements exposed to current and future climate impacts
  4. regional networks, making them strong and effective
  5. leadership across government, business and the community for an adaptive region
  6. funding models and priorities, including increasing cost pressures and revenue losses

Find out more about the 2016 North Coast Integrated Regional Vulnerability Assessment

The 2019 North Coast Enabling Regional Adaptation report (ERA) describes potential pathways to respond to the impacts of climate change on the systems our region relies on.

Tweed Shire Council is helping to build adaptation to climate change consistent with the ERA including:

  • settlements and land-use planning:
  • resilient communities: working with the community to build safe, healthy and more inclusive communities in the Tweed
  • cultural heritage: strengthening Council's relationship with the Aboriginal community through a Reconciliation Action Plan(PDF, 2MB)
  • biodiversity: targeting bushland management, providing support for threatened species and communities, and reducing threats to biodiversity
  • emergency management: providing Tweed residents with links, useful information and contacts in an emergency via the Emergency Dashboard
  • food and agriculture : working to improve the viability and environmental capacity of the Tweed's farmlands
  • infrastructure: Council’s Sustainable Design Guidelines(PDF, 830KB) help incorporate resilience to regional climate predictions in Council buildings and infrastructure.
  • water security:
    • raising the wall of Clarrie Hall Dam to meet the demands of the shire’s growing population and address the anticipated effects of climate change on the amount of water available to meet demand, particularly during severe drought. Find out more about the latest project updates
    • protecting the Tweed’s raw water source from tidal inundation of Bray Park Weir due to climate change
    • reviewing against best-practice our ongoing work towards augmenting the water supply and improving the outcomes of water saving and drought management initiatives
  • energy: helping the community with energy saver workshops, ideas and a solar buyers’ guide , while investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy for Council facilities to produce 25% of Council’s own electricity from renewables by 2022, and 50% by 2025
  • tourism: appointing the Tweed Tourism Company to lead the Tweed’s marketing, experience and tourism development, major event promotions and visitor information services

Council's response to climate change - climate emergency

Climate emergency

At its 19 September 2019 Council meeting, Tweed Shire Council declared a climate emergency that requires urgent action by all levels of government, including by local councils.

Council’s Interim climate change action plan(PDF, 546KB) describes 57 greenhouse gas emissions reduction and climate adaptation actions in response to the climate emergency.

Find out more about Council’s Climate Change Management Policy(PDF, 168KB)

Global Covenant of Mayors and CDP

Global Covenant of Mayors

More than 11,700 cities from 120 countries representing more than 1 billion people worldwide are part of a global alliance for local government climate leadership. Councils commit to advance climate action in three key areas:

  1. reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  2. identifying – and adapting to – the risks associated with climate change
  3. increasing access to clean and affordable energy

Check out Tweed Shire's reporting dashboard.

Our progress is recognised by a system of badges. In 2021, Tweed Shire Council achieved the following badges:

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GCoM Compliance Badge 2021

CDP (Carbon Disclosure Project)

CDP Cities A List 2022 - Tweed Shire

Tweed Shire Council reports its climate action via the CDP reporting platform, joining over 1000 other council areas globally who do the same.

Check out Tweed Shire’s reporting details.

Tweed Shire has been recognised as one of 122 cities on the 2022 CDP Cities A List for our efforts to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impacts of climate change.

To score an A we:

  • disclose publicly through CDP-ICLEI Track
  • have a city-wide emissions inventory
  • have published a climate action plan
  • complete a climate risk and vulnerability assessment
  • have a climate adaptation plan to demonstrate how we will tackle climate hazards.