Greenhouse gases naturally occur in our environment. They absorb and return some of the heat trying to leave our atmosphere, making the Earth warm enough for life to exist as we know it.
Recent human activities since the industrial revolution have increased the amount of greenhouse gases released in the Earth's atmosphere and so increasing the natural warming effect. The latest IPCC report states that overall global temperature has raised by 0.85 degrees since the 19th century.
The main greenhouse gases produced as a result of human activities are the burning of fossil fuels for energy (coal, oil and gas), land clearing, decay of household waste in landfills and some aspects of farming.
Here in Randwick, we perhaps don't often think about the many greenhouse gases released as a result of our actions or decisions because they happen far away.
FACT: Australia has one of the highest per person emissions of greenhouse gas in the world. Each year, an average person in Australia generates around 24 tonnes of greenhouse gas.
Reducing Greenhouse Emissions
Based on our Energy and Greenhouse Management Plan, Randwick City Council is doing its part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions through various activities such as:
Adapting to a Changing Climate
As part of Commonwealth Government's Local Adaptation Pathways Program funding in 2009, Randwick Council has created a Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap to identify and respond to risks arising as a result of Climate Change.
Through the preparation of our local roadmap, the greatest risk related to Climate Change for Randwick was identified as potential flooding from more frequent extreme weather events such as high intensity rainfall and storms and less from predicted rising seas levels facing other coastal areas. This related to our relative high and stable cliff top areas amongst which our popular beaches are represented.
Quite separately from the outcomes identified in our local roadmap, floodplain studies have been a long term priority of Council particularly considering the impacts and issues of flooding in low lying areas of the Randwick Local Government Area (LGA). Outcomes from these studies will be used to update existing land use planning guidelines such as the Development Control Plans (DCPs) and Local Environmental Plans (LEPs) to ensure that these flooding risks and potential impacts on local infrastructure are planned for and taken into account. In considering predicted sea level changes and future changes in storms or flooding events, our approach to floodplain management and planning will also help Council respond to the important Climate Change issues identified for Randwick and its residents.
Other risks identified in our Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap such as droughts, heatwaves and power outages are being considered through infrastructure solutions and planning controls such as:
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