The City of Unley has been recognised as a leader in Climate change. Notably, climate change adaptation governance was the focus.
In March 2021, the City of Unley participated in an external audit of its corporate governance from a climate risk perspective. The audit looked at how Council embeds climate change and associated risk into its business. The audit’s results were provided to Council at our last full Council meeting.
We were benchmarked using the Informed City approach against 341 councils across Australia have used to date. The audit recognised us as number one against those 341 Councils.
The review looked at how well Council embeds climate change considerations into its day-to-day work. In addition, it recommended where to focus future efforts.
Climate change is a pressing issue with social, legal, economic, and environmental risks. How we actively assess and respond to climate change, direct and indirect impacts, is a challenge facing all Councils. The project used a combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches. These included a staff-wide survey, a key documentation review and a series of face-to-face team interviews.
All participating Councils scored well in the audit. Most importantly though, the City of Unley achieved the highest-ranking of the 341 Councils who have submitted to the survey.
The results showed that we are clearly one of the leaders regarding climate change adaptation governance. Importantly, we received a top score for
- Strategic Planning,
- Public Risk Disclosure,
- Asset Management and
- Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction.
We are not perfect, however.
Being a leader in Climate change adaptation, however, is not a reason to sit back and rejoice. At the time of the survey, we did not have a climate change policy. We had a policy ready for our August meeting. We grappled at that time however with the use of carbon offset credits to achieve zero carbon emissions.
Thankfully though, this should, if I am any judge, be rectified at our next full Council meeting. This, because we now better understand the use of carbon credits the part they play in the policy.
Over the coming months, we will review and respond to the recommendations contained in the report.