Climate Change

Climate Change is a major world issue in the 21st century. Climate change is a sustained change in climate patterns due to an increase in the earth's temperature, which in turn has been attributed to increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While greenhouse gases in the atmosphere occur naturally to keep the earth at a temperature necessary to sustain life, it is generally accepted that human-induced (anthropogenic) activity has resulted in the "enhanced greenhouse effect", an increase in greenhouse gas concentration, which is causing significant global warming effects.

Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas, but it is acknowledged as the main contributor to warming. Other important greenhouse gases include nitrous oxide and methane, both of which have increased in the last century and are influenced heavily by human activities.

Livingstone Shire Council is keen to proactively address the implications of climate change in the shire and is involved in a number of programs and initiatives, which are described below:

Carbon Emissions

 Livingstone Shire Council is currently investigating opportunities for reducing the carbon emissions in its operations. Reducing the organisation’s carbon footprint can result in:

  • An effective response to climate change;
  • Business improvement;
  • Enhancement of Council’s environmental credentials, including showcasing regional sustainability leadership; and
  • Strategically positioning the organisation in line with the current public sector proactive view of carbon reduction

A comprehensive carbon audit is currently being undertaken to determine the organisations carbon footprint and to identify effective measures and projects to reduce this footprint in the areas of behavioural change, energy efficiency, renewable energy (including solar and carbon offsets. The development of a carbon strategy will follow this and will identify a pathway to reducing the organisations carbon footprint.

 Climate Resilient Council’s Program

 Livingstone Shire Council are participants in the Queensland Climate Resilient Council’s Program (Q CRC) administered by The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) in partnership with the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection. The Q CRC is a three year program working with Queensland local governments to strengthen internal council decision-making processes to respond to climate change.  

 The program provides the following to Councils:

  • An understanding of the impacts of climate change on Council’s priorities;
  • A governance assessment, which will assess and rate 15 governance indicators against world leading practice standards and provide clear recommendations on how Council can improve.
  • In 2017/18, the Program will provide leading practice resources for planning and decision making for climate change mitigation and adaptation.
  • In 2018/19 the Program will provide leading practice guidance for the development of Local Government Climate Change Strategies and two grants from a total fund of $125K to councils wishing to pilot the development of a multi-sectoral climate change strategy in their local government area or at a regional scale.

 Earth Hour

Earth Hour is a world-wide event which encourages people to take action and take better care of our environment. It involves joining with hundreds of millions of people across the globe and switching off the lights of homes and businesses for one hour. Livingstone Shire Council has participated in Earth Hour since 2014 by turning off non-essential lights at Council facilities and encourages its residents to also turn off their lights. Participation in Earth Hour demonstrates Livingstone Shire Council’s commitment to ongoing change that reduces the organisation’s impact on the environment as well as potentially saving on its operational costs.   

Further information about the Earth Hour initiative can be obtained from the website: https://earthhour.org.au