NSW Government climate change action

Prepare NSW for unavoidable changes in our climate

The NSW Climate Impact Profile is the first integrated assessment of the biophysical changes projected for the state as a result of climate change. The profile outlines some of the risks NSW faces and is an aid to decision-makers developing their planning and response strategies.

NSW climate change adaptation programs aim to build the resilience of the state's natural environment, economy and communities by:

  • helping communities adapt (including assessing the vulnerability to climate change of regional communities)
  • preparing Sydney for climate change impacts
  • protecting ecosystems and natural resources
  • managing water resources.

NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one includes a target to minimise the impacts of climate change in local communities. Actions to deliver on this target include:

  • completion of fine-scale climate change projections for NSW and make them available to local councils and the public by 2014
  • work with government agencies and universities to deliver improved climate projections for NSW and the ACT.

There are also 19 related commitments for the delivery of climate information and the identification of opportunities to increase resilience in local communities in the NSW 2021 Regional Action Plans.

The NSW Government is assessing regional vulnerabilities to climate change. This will assist in delivering locally based adaptation programs. More information on Integrated Regional Vulnerability Assessments is available here.

The Government is also delivering local-scale projections of future changes in temperature, rainfall and other climate variables for the whole of the state. This is being done through a multi-agency research partnership with the Climate Change Research Centre at the University of NSW.

For more information on these programs, visit the adapting to climate change page.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in NSW

The NSW Government is assisting the community and economy to adjust to the Australian Government’s carbon tax. In this context, the Government is working to deliver economically efficient and environmentally effective policies and programs that do not duplicate initiatives of the Australian Government including:


NSW 2021 sets goals and targets that support practical action to tackle climate change inlcuding:

  • 20% renewable energy by 2020
  • assistance for businesses and households to realise annual energy savings of 16,000 gigawatt-hours by 2020 compared with ‘business as usual’ trends
  • support for 220,000 low-income households to reduce their energy use by up to 20% by June 2014
  • an Increase in the share of commuter trips made by public transport, including increasing the proportion of total journeys to work by public transport in the Sydney Metropolitan Region to 28% by 2016
  • targets to increase walking and cycling
  • planning policy to encourage job growth in centres close to where people live and to provide access by public transport.

The NSW Government has outlined a series of plans and strategies to deliver these goals and targets including the draft Renewable Energy Action Plan, the NSW Energy Efficiency Action Plan, the Long Term Transport Master Plan and the draft Metropolitan Strategy for Sydney.

In July 2014, the NSW Government launched the Government Resource Efficiency Plan (GREP) to reduce the environmental impacts and improve cost-efficiency of its departments.

Page last updated: 01 August 2014