Climate change basics

What is the current situation?

 

Globally emissions are on the rise, particularly from developing nations. This will affect our planet in a number of ways.

The science surrounding the causes and impacts of climate change is underpinned by a strong consensus among scientists and is generally accepted at all levels of government worldwide.

International situation

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Source: Long term trend in global CO2 emissions, European Commission Joint Research Centre and PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency


Australia's position

Australia is the world's 15th largest emitter of greenhouse gases, producing more greenhouse gas emissions than at least 170 other countries.

Australia also produces more emissions per person than other developed countries.

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Source: Climate Analysis Indicators Tool, Version 8.0 (World Resources Institute, 2010). Note land use change is excluded.

Where do the emissions come from?

The majority of our emissions come from production of electricity. This is based largely on our reliance on coal to produce electricity. Coal is a comparatively GHG-intense method of producing electricity.

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Emissions by economic activity

We can then view the percentage of GHG by economic activity. This allows us to direct our actions to best address the sectors we can influence and the activities within the sector that can be changed.

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Source: These figures are derived from the Australian National Greenhouse Accounts.

Planning for a low carbon economy

Quality planning and the development of tools for the industry will mean that an economy can grow without increasing energy intensity and GHG emissions.

There are many examples of countries around the world that are growing their economy while decreasing their energy use and greenhouse gas emissions.

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Planners have a role in driving these reductions in greenhouse intensity, but also in assisting communities mitigate the effects of climate change.

Impacts on planning

The projected impacts of climage change will affect planning, with increased sea levels, droughts and heat waves needing to be addressed.


Coastal vulnerability

The projections of higher sea levels along with the associated increase in the high and King tide levels will effect coastal developments.

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Increased heat waves and bushfire risk

Increases in temperature and the resultant expected increase in heatwaves and bushfires will demand a variety of planning responses.

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Some of the ways planning can respond

Further reading

PDF downloads

These documents are from Dep't of Climate Change and and Energy Efficiency -

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