We are committed to finding practical and effective ways to address climate change concerns within the municipality. This includes managing climate risks to natural and human systems as well as the built environment.
By using a combination of sustainable adaptation and mitigation measures we are working towards net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
Darwin has already been affected by climate change as a result of more extreme weather events. If current climate change predictions come to the fore, we will face significant challenges to our built and natural environments.
The predicted effects will increase the potential for:
- Extreme rainfall events
- Rising sea levels
- A greater proportion of cyclones
- Daily temperature maximums
- Continued loss and risk to biodiversity
- Risks of a contaminated water supply through saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers.
City of Darwin’s climate emergency response aims to support the community to reach net-zero community greenhouse gas emissions by 2040. This means that the amount of greenhouse gases we are putting into the atmosphere equals the amount we are taking out.
The first step in trying to reach this goal is reducing the amount of greenhouse gases that are being put into the atmosphere, currently, we are producing more greenhouse gases than we are taking out. While there are things that City of Darwin can do to help our community reduce its emissions, the only way that we can truly achieve net-zero by 2040 is with effort from the community as well.
You might think that because you are just one person or one family, you might not be able to make a difference in lowering emissions. However, think of everyone in Darwin, that’s approximately 85,000 people. If everyone was trying to lower their emissions, then there is enormous potential for people power to make a difference!
So what can you do?
There are lots of things that you can do in your home, workplace and while you’re out and about to lower your emissions and reduce the impact of climate change on you and your family. You will probably find a lot of these actions will save you money and contribute to a healthier lifestyle!
What's your carbon footprint?
The first step in working towards lowering your emissions is finding out how many emissions different areas of your life produce. Once you know how much emissions you produce, and in which areas, you can begin prioritising which areas to start working on first. It is a good idea to do this, because you can clearly see which need work first and this can prevent you feeling overwhelmed by all the possible actions you can take.
Emissions come from energy generation and usage. Lowering emissions in the home can be as simple as switching off the lights and fans when you leave the room. This action means you are not using energy, which also saves money on your power bill. Other ways to reduce energy consumption also include switching appliances off at the wall when you’re not using them, or putting them on a timer. This might be your TV, toaster, kettle, washing machine, dryer, and air conditioner. The CoolMob has more tips & tricks to help you reduce energy use.
The largest portion of our emissions comes from transport (59.84%). You can reduce your personal emissions by taking public transport, riding your bike, or carpooling. You can find information on cycling paths on the Northern Territory Government website and our cycling page.
Waste generates lots of greenhouse gases, specifically methane, which holds more heat than carbon dioxide. Adopting a circular economy approach in your home can help reduce the amount of waste going to landfills. A circular economy means adhering to the waste hierarchy principles; avoid, reduce, reuse, recycle and dispose of.
Heat mitigation through biodiversity
Making sure you plant lots of shady trees around your house. This will reduce the amount of heat that your house receives from the sun and then holds, which then reduces the need to cool it down using air conditioning.
The good news is that one of the most powerful ways we can draw down greenhouse gases from the atmosphere is through forests! In Darwin, we have trees and plants all around us and you can contribute to our urban forest by planting native species in your garden. This provides food or shelter for our native animals living in our city. City of Darwin has a Gardens for Wildlife program that you can sign up to for more information on what to plant depending on which animals/insects you would like to attract to your garden.
One of the effects of climate change is the increased incidence of severe weather events, like cyclones or flooding. It is important to be prepared for such an event, as they are becoming more commonplace. SecureNT has some resources to help you and your family prepare for these events.