Climate change in NSW

How is climate change affecting NSW?
What's being done to reduce its impact?
Find out here.

Scientist wades through mangrove roots in water, observing and testing

What's climate change?

In recent decades there's been an increase in average and extreme temperatures around the world. This is climate change

Temperatures are rising due to an increase in greenhouse gases in the Earth’s atmosphere. The light (the sun) is getting in, but not as much heat is getting out.

The extra greenhouse gases are caused mainly by human activity since the industrial revolution. The burning of fossil fuels for electricity, industry and transport is a major cause. Another is the large-scale removal of forests. Trees absorb carbon dioxide (a greenhouse gas) from the air and put oxygen back into it. 

By changing how we use energy and resources, we can help reduce the impact of climate change. We can also better respond to the challenges of climate change. For more on what climate change is see AdaptNSW

How climate change affects NSW

Events caused by climate change affect our health, economy and communities, as well as the local environment. Here's some impacts in NSW.

Man wading through floodwaters with esky and bag
Natural disasters

Flooding in NSW devastates communities and costs our economy about $250 million a year. 

Doctor holding stethoscope to baby's chest as he sits on mother's lap
Heatwaves and health

NSW saw its hottest decade on record 2010-2019. Heatwaves kill more people in Australia than any other natural hazard. 

Dried lake bed with cracked mud in foreground, diminishing water behind
Drought and water shortages

From 2017 to 2020, NSW experienced record-breaking drought. Rainfall was the lowest on record.

Acting and responding to climate change in NSW

woman in front of house with solar panels

NSW households are learning to respond to challenges posed by climate change.

Aboriginal workers in hard hats and bright work gear stand smiling, cross armed, in front of solar panels

NSW Businesses are being encouraged to support and adapt to safer, cleaner energy, materials and practices.

Man in volunteer tshirt stands with folded arms in front of a team of volunteers packing boxes in background

Key targets on climate change in NSW

electric car with plug recharging - with solar panels in background

The foundation for NSW’s action on climate change and goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Key initiatives delivering energy savings and reducing emissions, and increasing resilience to a changing climate.

New green leaves sprouting from tree trunks blackened by bushfires

Outlines our long-term objectives to achieve net-zero emissions and make NSW more resilient to a changing climate.

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