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Climate Change Adaptation

Changes to the global climate are unequivocal, and are evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising average sea level (IPCC 2013).

For the City of Adelaide, projected changes to the climate include:

  • Increased frequency and intensity of heat waves
  • Increase in average temperatures
  • Lower average rainfall and significant decreases in spring rainfall
  • Increase in intensity of rainfall events.

Potential impacts on the region include:

  • Health impacts of heat waves, particularly to vulnerable community members
  • Impacts of heat waves on liveability and accessibility
  • Impacts of heat waves on the economy and businesses, particularly sectors such as retail and hospitality
  • Reduced water availability and increasing heat resulting in increased stress and resources required for maintaining open space, public realm and vegetation.

Under a low emissions scenario, in which global temperature rise is limited to below 2°C, Adelaide is expected to see an increase in the number of days over 35°C rise from the current average of 17 up to 26 days per year by 2070.  A 4°C average global temperature increase would mean that the number of days over 35°C in Adelaide would almost triple, from 17 to 47 days per year by 2070.

For these reasons reducing our carbon emissions (mitigation) and ensuring that Council and the community is prepared for the impacts of climate change (adaptation) are both equally important.

Visit Carbon Neutral Adelaide for information on how City of Adelaide and the South Australian Government are working to reduce carbon emissions and make Adelaide the world’s first carbon neutral city.


Council’s carbon emissions and energy targets are contained in the Carbon Neutral Strategy 2015-2025 (4MB).


Council is a partner in the Resilient East Climate Change Adaptation Project.  The other partners include the Cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Prospect, Tea Tree Gully, Unley and the Town of Walkerville.

The goal of Resilient East is to improve the resilience of our communities, assets and infrastructure, local economies and natural environment so they can cope with the inevitable impacts and challenges of climate change.

Council also has a Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan 2013-2015 (970 KB) which outlines Council’s current adaptation strategies and actions.

In order to better understand the issues facing the City in relation to climate change Council is participating in a research project within the Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living titled ‘Urban Micro Climates: Comparative study of major contributors to the Urban Heat Island effect in three Australian cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide)’- click here for more details. 

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