About Climate Change

Find out what we are doing and what you can do

Climate change is one of the most pressing issues of our time.

In October 2019, we joined a growing number of councils in Australia and the world by declaring a climate emergency. In line with the Paris Agreement, we are committed to playing our part in limiting global temperature increases worldwide.

Our Green City Plan 2028 outlines how we will achieve these goals. It supports and builds on a number of global, federal and state government strategies and goals.

On 18 October 2021 Council committed to accelerating and strengthening targets within Our Green City Plan. 
The updated targets endorsed by Council are:
  • Council operations will achieve net-zero emissions by 2025
  • Renewable energy sourced for 100% of council operations by 2022 
  • Support our community to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases by at least 50% by 2028 (compared with 2008/09)
  • Support our community to achieve net-zero emissions in the 2040’s, or sooner
  • Support our community to increase solar PV capacity by 200% by 2023 (compared with 2017/18).

How you can get involved

Find out about climate change

Learn about climate change and what it means for you and your family.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

United Nations Climate Action – accessible explanation of climate change science and solutions.

Climate Council – an Australian independent, evidence-based organisation working on climate science, impacts and solutions.

Bureau of Meteorology – Australian climate change trends and extremes.

Federal Government - Climate Change in Australia - for climate change predictions across Australia.

NSW Government - Adapt NSW - for information on climate change predictions in NSW and how to adapt.

Reaching net zero

At all levels of government, there are targets and plans for reaching net zero.


To address climate change, countries adopted the Paris Agreement at the COP21 in December 2015. Signatories agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees celsius and strive to limit rises to 1.5 degrees celsius. The Agreement also calls for a commitment to achieve net zero emissions by the second half of the century.

Our Green City Plan also supports the UN Sustainable Development goals, specifically Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable and Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.

Our actions to achieve these targets will be recorded internationally under Australia’s contribution.



At a national level, Australia’s response to the Paris Agreement has been to set a goal of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020 and GHG emissions that are 26 to 28 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.

Willoughby City Council is a member of The Cities Power Partnership (CCP), a national program to celebrate and accelerate the emission reduction and clean energy successes of Australian towns and cities. It is made up of mayors, councillors and communities who are committed to a sustainable, non-polluting energy future.


At a state level, the NSW Climate Change Policy Framework outlines the state’s target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050.


The Willoughby Local Environment Plan 2012 makes local environmental planning provisions for development in Willoughby in accord with the planning instrument under section 33A of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979.

The Willoughby Development Control Plan (DCP) specifies detailed guidelines and environmental standards for new development, which need to be considered in preparing a Development Application.

Our Green City Plan 2028 responds to the outcomes of Our Future Willoughby 2028. Phase 1 covers the five-year period 2018-2023. At this point, the plan will be reviewed and Council will report on progress to date. Annual reporting of progress against Corporate Performance Indicators (CPIs) will continue via existing performance, planning and reporting processes.