Australia Subnational Best Practices

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Canberra/ Australian Capital Territory (ACT)—The region containing the Australian capital of Canberra is one of two Australian signatories of the “Under 2 MOU” agreement, which brings together subnational governments to pledge to reduce GHG emissions in an effort to limit global temperature rise to under 2 degrees Celsius. The pledge commits its signatories to reduce their overall emissions by 80-90% below 1990 levels by 2050. Participation in this type of project, especially from the capital, not only commits to making real and measurable change in the form of emission reduction, but also sends the message that cities and provinces can and should commit themselves to taking action. The Australian Capital was also the highest ranked Australian city in the Arcadis 2016 Sustainable City Index at number 25.
Three factors are considered when listing a city in the Sustainable Cities Index: People, Environment and Profit. Cities that have proven to be livable and show good economic growth prospects without sacrificing environmental sustainability are ranked and analyzed through a variety of factors.  Canberra came out ahead overall, but in the specific sub-index looking at the planet, Sydney was Australia’s highest ranked city.  Sydney’s target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 70% by 2030 was a key factor in its score.

Contact Information for the Australian Capital Territory
Mail: Access Canberra, Chief Minister, Treasury and Economic Development Directorate, GPO Box 158, Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: + 13 22 81 or 6207 5111.

Contact Information for the City of Sydney
Mail: City of Sydney, GPO Box 1591, Sydney NSW 2001
Street address: Town Hall House,  Level 2, 456 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000


Adelaide—Adelaide has announced a goal to be Carbon Neutral by 2050, and has been successful in achieving emissions reductions even with population and economic growth.  The city has also made a point to identify local risks of climate change including an increase in heat waves and reductions in water supply. There is also a recycled water project underway in Adelaide which can offer some relief in an area subject to drought.

Contact information for the City of Adelaide
Mail: Colonel Light Centre, 25 Pirie Street, Adelaide
Telephone: +61 8 8203 7203
Fax: +61 8 8203 7575

Darwin—Voted Australia’s most sustainable city in 2010, Darwin has implemented several noteworthy environmental initiatives. The City of Darwin encourages “creating habitat” anywhere possible to encourage increased biodiversity—a topic rarely addressed in sustainability and climate action plans. The city also aims to be a leader and model for implementing climate policy and reducing emissions, as stated in their plan Evolving Darwin—Strategic Directions Beyond 2020

Contact Information for the City of Darwin
Postal Address: G PO Box 84 Darwin, NT 0801
Street Address: Harry Chan Avenue, Darwin NT 0800
Telephone: 8930 0300
Fax: 8930 0311


Resilient East “Resilient East” is an initiative between Adelaide City Council, the Cities of Burnside, Campbelltown, Norwood Payneham & St Peters, Prospect, Tea Tree Gully, Unley and the Town of Walkerville.

“The goal of Resilient East is to improve the resilience of our communities, assets and infrastructure, local economies and natural environment so they can cope with the inevitable impacts and challenges of climate change.”   -From Resilient East website

In addition to working to improve the climate resilience capacity of Australian cities, Resilient East has produced several reports that can be used to guide next steps. These reports include a climate action plan, vulnerability assessment, and climate projections report among others.


Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action (NAGA)
“The Northern Alliance for Greenhouse Action formed in 2002 as a network that shares information, coordinates emission reduction and adaptation activities and cooperates on the research and development of innovative projects.

“NAGA’s goal is to substantially contribute to the transition to a low-carbon future by delivering effective programs and leveraging local government, community and business action.”     -From NAGA website


Climate Action Network (CAN) / Australia
The Climate Action Network works to connect groups across Australia working towards common goals. Their primary goal is to act as a facilitator in cooperation between existing groups and supporting climate protection projects that are already underway.



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