Climate Change and Energy
This section contains information about climate change and energy. Please click on the following highlighted links for more information...
- Our Changing Climate
- Climate Change Risk Assessment
- Energy Conservation - Community
- Energy Conservation - Council
- Sustainable Transport
Greenhouse gases trap the sun's heat in the atmosphere and assist in the maintenance of the earth's temperature. While this greenhouse effect is natural, human activities have increased its intensity considerably, resulting in global warming and climate change impacts. Human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels for electricity, consumption of petrol based fuels for transport and landfilling waste all contribute to the release of greenhouse gases.
Since 1950 Australian average temperatures have increased by 0.9°C. The frequency of hot days and nights has increased and the frequency of cold days and nights has declined. This warming is likely to be mostly due to increases in greenhouse gases caused by human activity. (CSIRO, Climate Change in Australia: Technical Report, 2007).
Scientific projections have also found:
"Global climate change, caused by an enhanced greenhouse effect, will significantly affect the natural environment in Australia and NSW. Annual average temperatures in Australia are projected to increase by 0.4-2.0°C by 2030 and by 1-6°C by 2070 compared to 1990 levels."
(Source: LGSA, 2007, Climate Change Action Pack, http://www.lgnsw.org.au/policy/climate-change/planning-for-climate-change [LGSA no longer funded])
Climate change projections to late this century indicate that the Liverpool City area will become warmer, with more hot days and fewer cold nights. Extreme temperatures will become more severe, and droughts will be more frequent and last longer. There will be less rainfall overall, but storm rainfall intensities will become more intense and the sea level will rise, increasing flood risks. The risk of serious bush fires will grow. Hail storms, and possibly wind storms, are projected to become more severe. These can all place human life, property and natural ecosystems at increased risk. (Source: 2012 CLIMATE CHANGE RISK ASSESSMENT – see link below)
Further information regarding Climate Change can be found at the following websites:
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change http://www.ipcc.ch/
- NSW Office of Environment & Heritage http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/
- Department of the Environment http://www.climatechange.gov.au
With its extensive portfolio of natural and built assets, and serving a growing population, climate change poses a major strategic risk for Liverpool City Council, with implications for infrastructure assets, operations, service delivery and the welfare of residents.
The 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment identifies potential risks to Council's assets, operations and stakeholders arising from climate extremes. The risks have been assessed for their likelihood and consequences and ranked in priority order.
Council's Climate Change Risk Assessment was a precursor to preparing a Climate Change Adaptation Plan that lists Council actions to moderate harm or harness benefits.
You can download a copy of the 2012 Climate Change Risk Assessment here.
There are many ways that you can improve your energy efficiency and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Some easy actions you can take to reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions include:
- Switch off lights, appliances and equipment when they're not needed.
- Install energy-efficient compact fluorescent lamps
- Divert garden and food wastes from landfill to composting (either at home or through a Council scheme).
- Make your home more comfortable by insulating, draught-sealing and shading windows in summer.
- Manage home heating and cooling by setting thermostats appropriately - a couple of degrees up in summer and a couple of degrees down in winter.
- Cut hot water usage by installing a water-efficient showerhead, taking shorter showers and using cold water clothes washing.
- Switch off your second fridge except when it's really needed.
- Switch to low greenhouse impact transport options like bicycle or public transport - or use phone or email.
- Minimise waste of packaging and materials - refuse, reduce, re-use, recycle.
- Use solar power - dry your clothes on the clothes line outside, not in a dryer
(Source: Australian Greenhouse Office, 2007)
For further information see:
- NSW Office of Environment & Heritage http://www.environment.nsw.gov.au/ & http://www.yourhome.gov.au/
There are many ways Council can improve energy efficiency and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions.
Energy Management Plan
The Energy Management Plan (EMP) is a four-year strategic plan that, once fully implemented, has the potential to save over 2,051 Megawatt hours (MWh) of electricity, 5,466 gigajoules (GJ) of natural gas and 2,604 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) emissions each year from Council's activities.
Under the Energy Management Plan Council has:
- Completed energy audits of its top 14 energy using sites.
- Developed a list of 128 key recommendations for reducing energy consumption over the next four years.
- Identified over $348,900 of savings to be made each year through the implementation of retrofit actions.
You can download a copy of the 2012 Energy Management Plan here
Australia has one of the highest vehicle ownership rates in the world, with 614 registered vehicles per 1,000 people. Car ownership rates have risen from 8.6 million registered vehicles in 1985 to 10.9 million in 1996 (Source: From Motor Vehicle Census - Australian Bureau of Statistics).
Each year in Australia, 175 billion kilometres are driven equating to 23 billion litres of fuel and releasing about 63 million tonnes of greenhouse gases and other pollutants (Source: ICLEI - Cities for Climate Protection Australia).
For more information on means of sustainable transport please click on the following highlighted links: