South Australia's greenhouse strategy was released on 31 May 2007. Tackling Climate Change: South Australia's Greenhouse Strategy 2007-2020
is South Australia's long-term response to climate change and was developed after significant consultation with industry, community, academia, local councils and government.
It outlines the case for action, the wider international context and three essential strategy requirements, which are:
- the need to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions
- the need to adapt to climate change
- the need to innovate.
Most importantly, the strategy sets out specific goals and targets for South Australia, recommended ways to achieve them and key action areas.
Key action areas
Everyone has a role in tackling climate change. The Government of South Australia accepts responsibility to lead the response.
The strategy identifies three key objectives relating to leadership:
- encouraging early action in reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- demonstrating best practice in reducing emissions
- building capacity to tackle climate change.
Some climate change is inevitable regardless of how fast global greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced. The state needs to prepare for the impacts and adapt to changes in climate.
The strategy identifies three key objectives relating to adaptation:
- increasing our understanding of risks, vulnerabilities and opportunities through science and research
- building resilient and healthy communities
- improving hazard management and minimising risks.
Climate change is an issue that affects everyone in South Australia. We all contribute to it and experience its impacts, but some sections of the community are more vulnerable than others.
The strategy identifies three key objectives relating to community:
- promoting individual, household and community behaviour change
- improving the efficient use of resources by households and communities
- building greenhouse friendly communities.
Industry is a significant emitter of greenhouse gases so its participation is vital to improving the state's performance and achieving reduction targets.
The strategy identifies three key objectives relating to industry:
- managing business risk associated with greenhouse gas emissions and climate change
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions while enhancing business competitiveness
- targeting commercial opportunities and developing products and services of the future.
Energy supply and use is an essential part of modern living, but current methods account for a large percentage of South Australia's greenhouse gas emissions.
The strategy identifies three key objectives relating to energy:
- improving the efficiency of energy use
- increasing the take-up of renewable and low emission energy technologies
- ensuring energy investment and markets transition to low greenhouse gas emissions.
Transport and planning
South Australia’s reliance on fossil fuels for transport contributes a significant portion of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions.
The strategy identifies four key objectives relating to transport and planning:
- integrated land use and transport planning to reduce the need for motorised travel
- encouraging people to use sustainable methods of travel
- improving the emissions performance of vehicles and fuels
- shifting transport towards low greenhouse emission modes including cycling and walking.
Buildings consume around one-third of electricity in South Australia and generate around one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions.
The strategy identifies four key objectives relating to buildings:
- developing high performance green standards for building design, construction and operation
- optimising the energy performance and subsequent cost effectiveness of buildings
- increasing market and community awareness of the benefits of improved building performance
- developing sustainable built environments that are responsive to climate change.
South Australia relies heavily on its natural resources sector, and its biodiversity and ecosystems will be impacted by a changing climate.
The strategy identifies four key objectives relating to natural resources:
- strengthening the resilience of industries reliant on natural resources
- considering climate change in the sustainable management of water resources and water supply
- increasing the capacity of ecosystems to adapt to climate change
- reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the natural resources sector and increasing carbon sinks.
Government action plan
The strategy contains a Government Action Plan that guides the activities of government agencies in implementing it.
It is anticipated that the plan will be reviewed by mid 2012 to ensure that the strategies and actions are still the most effective.
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