Initiative 6: Support communities with their climate change response

what is the issue?

Australia’s efforts to address and respond to climate change is not taking full advantage of the opportunity for partnership and collaboration with local government.

why is this important for communities?

All communities are grappling with the consequences of climate change – such as extreme weather, heatwaves, drought, bushfires etc – and are struggling to understand the full impacts of global warming and how they can respond.

What do we know?

  • Managing the effects of global warming requires effort by every level of Australian Government.
  • The Commonwealth has committed, through the Conference of Parties 21 (COP 21) held in Paris in December 2015, to hold the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.
  • COP21 has acknowledged the importance of sub-national governments, including local governments, in addressing and responding to climate change.
  • As one of the most urbanised countries in the world – with more than 80% of Australia’s population living in cities, including large regional centres – the role of our cities and the role of councils within these cities in addressing climate change is hard to overstate.
  • Many councils have responded to the climate change challenge by adopting proactive strategies to reduce emissions and to adapt to unavoidable climate change impacts through climate change risk assessments and adaptation plans. Having identified potential solutions to the range of challenges, many councils need additional help to implement local projects and innovative solutions.

Local government proposes:

Support communities in climate change response by investing in a Local Government Climate Change Partnership Fund of $200 million over four years.

ECONOMIC BENEFIT: ALGA’s analysis indicates that this investment would have a cumulative Gross Domestic Product benefit of $451 million by the third year and create up to 1,100 new jobs.

Councils across Australia have banded together to support ALGA’s call for ‘1% + Partnership Programs’. This calls for the next Federal Government to restore core local government funding of Financial Assistance Grants to at least 1% of Commonwealth taxation revenue and add funding for partnership programs where agreed.

Here's how councils would spend the additional funding to help their communities:

contact alga