Climate Change

Climate change is a significant challenge, but we can work to reduce the impact and plan to adapt.

Climate change is the term used to describe the long-term shift of weather patterns. The speed at which modern climate change is happening and the causes behind it make it one of the biggest challenges facing our world.

Weather versus climate

Weather and climate mean different things. Weather is what we experience day to day such as sunny days, cold days, thunderstorms, or rain. Climate looks at weather patterns over a long period of time.

Greenhouse gases

Greenhouse gases play an important role in maintaining comfortable temperature ranges on Earth by trapping heat from the sun. Greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are natural and have changed our climate over billions of years.

Since the Industrial Revolution in the 18th century, fossil fuels have been burnt to power our way of life. The burning of fossil fuels releases large amounts of greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and has unnaturally impacted our climate.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change regularly releases important research into climate change and its impacts.

How will climate change affect Wagga Wagga?

Climate change will affect areas around Australia and the world differently. Some places may experience greater weather and temperature extremes than others. Knowing how climate change will impact our region will help us plan for our future.

What we expect to see in our region:

  • Increases to both minimum and maximum temperatures throughout the year
  • More frequent heatwaves that last longer
  • Experience fewer cold nights
  • A shift from when we experience rainfall, with less rain in spring and more rain in autumn

Learn more about how climate change will affect our region through AdaptNSW’s Murray Murrumbidgee Climate change snapshot.

What is Council doing to reduce emissions and plan for our future?

Net Zero Emissions by 2040

Council has adopted a corporate net zero emissions target by 2040. The term 'net zero' refers to the balancing of greenhouse gas emissions with actions that remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The first step should always be to minimise greenhouse gas emissions. Additionally a target has been set for the Wagga Wagga community to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Several projects have been implemented to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from Council business and across community assets that Council maintains. Projects have also commenced on how our community can adapt to a changing climate. These include:

  • Implementation of a combined food organics and garden organics waste service
  • Installation of rooftop solar on Council’s Civic Centre and the Livestock Marketing Centre
  • Upgrade to energy efficient LED lights in Council buildings
  • Upgrade of street lighting to energy efficient LED lights
  • Purchase of an electric vehicle as part of Council’s vehicle fleet
  • Development of the ‘Adaptation Action Plans for Priority Infrastructure and Vulnerable Communities’ through Local Government NSW’s ‘Building Resilience to Climate Change’ program
  • Partnering with Wagga Wagga Urban Landcare to trial the planting of climate adapted species
  • Developing an urban canopy cover and heat map strategy
  • Delivering the 'One tree for me' campaign to increase vegetation cover

To download this document, click the download link in the top left corner.

What can you do?:

  • Understand your environmental footprint using an online calculator
  • Swap short car trips with walking or riding a bike
  • Reduce energy use at home by:
    • Turning lights off when not in use
    • Sticking to 4 minute showers
    • Popping on a jumper before switching on the heater
    • Considering the energy efficient rating of new appliance purchases
  • Buy food from local growers, or have a go at growing your own fruit and vegetables
  • Fix or mend items rather than throwing them away
  • Sort your waste across the green, yellow, and red lid bins
  • Plant trees and shrubs in your garden, or volunteer with Landcare

Climate Change Risk Assessment and Adaptation options for Council Assets

To download this document, click the download link in the top left corner.