Climate change is a change in the pattern of weather, and related changes in oceans, land surfaces and ice sheets, occurring over decades or longer.
While South Australia’s climate has always been highly variable, a strong warming trend has been observed since the 1970s. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Meteorology, average temperatures across the state have warmed almost one degree Celsius during the past century. Rainfall has also declined over most of the state since the 1970s, particularly for autumn and spring rainfall over the agricultural regions.
The Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) plays a key role in helping South Australia prepare for climate change and is responsible for state-wide policy, the administration of climate change legislation and for the delivery of climate change programs.
Climate change initiatives in South Australia
In 2007, South Australia was the first Australian state to legislate a specific target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Working together, state government, local government, industry and the wider community have stabilised our greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels
In 2009, the Government of South Australia committed to a target of 33% of South Australia’s electricity generation to come from renewable energy by 2020. In late 2014, South Australia exceeded this target and now generates as much as 39% of its electricity from renewable energy. In 2014, the Government of South Australia set a new target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2025.
DEWNR provides further information on:
- What is climate change?
- How climate change is affecting South Australia
- State and regional climate change projections
- Climate change initiatives in South Australia (including a timeline of climate change action)
- South Australia’s climate change strategy
- Carbon Neutral Adelaide
- Reducing greenhouse emissions to mitigate climate change
- Adapting to climate change
- SA climate change legislation
- Premier’s Climate Change Council
- International engagement
- Building Upgrade Finance
- Building Innovation Fund