Climate Change & Energy Efficiency
Taking action on climate change is necessary due to risks climate change poses to council assets, operations, the local environment, business viability and the community.
The climate in Tasmania’s Midlands is changing which is consistent with the broader trend of rising temperatures, more frequent and severe bushfires, heatwaves, drought, extreme weather events, and changing rainfall patterns. Local evidence of climate change is borne out in both the long-term meteorological data (collected at sites in the Midlands since 1882) and anecdotes from those who have lived in the region for most of their lives.
In terms of potential ongoing trends in climate change, Tasmania has high resolution climate modelling data from the Climate Futures for Tasmania program to draw upon. The details of how climate change is expected to play out in the Midlands is provided in detail in the Southern Midlands Council Climate Change Profile (updated and released in 2020), in summary, the following trend is set to continue in the Midlands:
- more very hot days;
- increasing average annual temperature;
- significant reduction in the number of frosts;
- higher frequency of & greater intensity of bushfires; and
- heavier rainfall events interspersed with longer dry spells – declining average annual rainfall in the Midlands.
Climate Change Adaptation
Councils Climate Change Adaptation Plan details council’s approach to understanding risk and minimising the impacts associated with climate change on council assets and the community.
Climate change adaptation resources for the Southern Midlands community
The following series of articles is being produced to assist Southern Midlands residents prepare for climate change.
Adaptation to climate change is the effort we make in response to changing conditions and/or to prepare for the likely changes to come. Adaptation is those actions taken that may determine whether we are equipped to stay where we are or forced to move elsewhere as circumstances that make our lives worthwhile and satisfying change.
In the Midlands most people are aware that change is occurring, whether we’ve felt or noticed it ourselves, or heard anecdotes from people who have a long connection with the region.
For successful adaptation, there needs to be an understanding of the impending risks and then a strategy formulated to manage or cope with the risk. This will help us cope better with natural disasters that are increasing in frequency, such as wildfire, flood, and drought.
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Midlands - 1 Introduction
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Midlands - 2 The Science
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Midlands - 3 Heat
- Climate Change Adaptation in the Midlands - 4 Township Lagoon Native Grasslands
Climate Change Mitigation
The ultimate aim of climate change mitigation is to reduce the severity of the emerging impacts of climate change. This can be achieved through implementation of projects that are successful in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All efforts are important and will make a difference.
CLIMATE CHANGE ACTION PLAN
Southern Midlands Council’s Climate Change Action Plan guides Council’s ongoing approach to climate change mitigation, the primary goal of which is to:
- continue efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions over which council has control;
- assist the community to reduce emissions where possible; and
- collaborate on broader scale initiatives with regional stakeholders through involvement with the Regional Climate Change Initiative.
The original Climate Change Action Plan was endorsed by Council over 10 years ago and since then many actions have been achieved:
Council’s commitment to contributing action on climate change is part of the Strategic Plan 2018-2027: ‘3.5.1 Implement strategies to address the issue of climate change in relation to its impact on Council’s corporate functions and on the Community.’
The updated Southern Midlands Council Climate Change Action Plan 2020 has three areas of focus:
- energy efficiency projects inclusive of solar and electric/hybrid vehicle upgrades;
- land care projects inclusive of tree planting and landscape protection options; and
- waste management projects that are related to emission reduction.
For all proposed actions in the Action Plan there has been an attempt to identify: resourcing; emission reduction benefit; cost benefit; community leadership benefit; and timeframe for implementation.
Southern Midlands Council has been working proactively with energy efficiency and emissions reduction since 2008. Achievements to date are provided in the table below:
Council’s track record on emissions reduction: