Climate change and peak oil
  • Last updated:
  • 23 Dec 2019

Climate change is a 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 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 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.

Council has developed the Sunshine Coast Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy 2010-2020 to tackle the implications of climate change on the Sunshine Coast.

To ensure council's policy intent remains contemporary and progressive, the Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy 2010-2020 has been reviewed with the core principles used to inform the preparation of council's bold, new-generation Draft Environment and Liveability Strategy. This Draft Strategy provides long-term strategic direction to guide growth and shape the Sunshine Coast for future generations to 2041.

To view a full copy of the Draft Strategy and have your say, please visit council's Have Your Say Sunshine Coast website. Submissions closed 4 June 2017.

Global warming refers to an average increase in the Earth's temperature, which in turn has been related to global and regional changes in climate. We are already starting to feel the effects of greenhouse gas pollution. Being the driest inhabited content, Australia is particularly vulnerable to the implications of climate change and based on current information, it is expected that the Sunshine Coast and other regions of Australia could experience:

  • sea level rise of up to 1.1 metre by 2100 (although this does not take into account significant land-based ice sheet melt, the impact of which could mean significantly higher sea level rises)
  • higher temperatures (an increase in the number of days above 35 degrees from 1 up to 30 by 2100)
  • an increase in extreme weather events such as heat waves, floods, storms, droughts and bushfires.

If levels of greenhouse gases continue to rise, these weather changes could lead to serious impacts on coastal housing and infrastructure, biodiversity, agriculture, water supplies, human health, transport and tourism.

Living sustainably and reducing our environmental impact can help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to mitigating the devastating effects of climate change.

More information 

Sunshine Coast Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy 2010-2020 provides information relating to local projections, identifies some of the challenges and opportunities for the region, and provides a strategic roadmap to tackle the issues of climate change and peak oil over the next decade.

In conjunction with the Climate Change and Peak Oil Strategy, the Energy Transition Plan will assist in achieving the goal of a low carbon, low oil, resilient future for the Sunshine Coast.

For further information on climate change, projections and adaptation visit the Australian Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency or the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection websites.