ADAPT: Government, communities, businesses and individuals working together

Despite global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, impacts from climate change are inevitable. Adapting to climate change involves planning and action by individuals, communities and businesses to cope with the effects of a changing climate. We seek to address these impacts and take into account the economic, social and environmental impacts of climate change, so that we can all prosper in the future.

Download the ADAPT consultation paper (PDF, 1.26MB)

Help shape South Australia's Climate Change strategy by taking part in the discussion forum below. We want to know:

  • How can government, communities, businesses and individuals work together to prioritise and fund activities that build our resilience to climate change?

Comments closed

19 Oct 2015

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in the 'adapt' discussion. This consultation has now closed.

Your feedback has been passed onto the Climate Change Team to consider in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA, which is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.

To stay informed, sign up to the Climate Change E-Newsletter at

Thanks again for getting involved - your input is appreciated.

Regards, the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Heather Smith

18 Oct 2015

Our most vulnerable energy consumers are missing out on the transition to cleaner and cheaper energy. Government needs to treat this sector as a priority because this is also the sector that will be hardest hit by climatic changes. My recommendations can be found in the following post:

Work with the social sector to develop a package of energy efficiency, solar energy and demand management which will guarantee an overall reduction in energy costs and not compromise the needs (health etc) of low income consumers.
Create a financing solution, in concert with energy retailers and financial counsellors that is generous (eg No interest) and manageable (eg bill smoothing) and minimises financial risk for consumers. [I recommend a read of the book Scarcity for a bunch of ideas on how financing can help, rather than stress out, vulnerable consumers]
Ensure that energy solutions are also generated for consumers without suitable solar access.
Investigate if the assets of some consumers could provide additional value to the electricity system, eg steady loads, willingness to manage demand, offer of roof space or to host storage systems. Install systems and advocate for tariffs that might appropriately reward such assets.
Reverse the impact of regressive energy policies by treating the social sector as a priority for affordable energy solutions that are also part of the inevitable energy transition.

> Heather Smith

19 Oct 2015

Hi Heather, Great to have you involved in the discussion. Thanks for the link to your blog and for your comments about the need to work with the social sector. Our team will review your comments and consider themin the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA, which is anticipated to be released by the end of the year.
Thanks again for getting involved in the discussion - we appreciate your input.
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Nicki de Preu

18 Oct 2015

One of the key messages from the 2011ACIUCN Report The Role of Biodiversity and Ecosystems in Climate Change Mitigation is that natural ecosystems are a critical part of adaption for climate change as they store relatively dense and long lived organic carbon stocks in their living and dead biomass and soils. This report recommends that a high priority is to avoid emissions by protecting and holding on to existing ecosystem carbon stocks through protected areas and conservation across all land tenures and restoring depleted stocks through better management and ecological restoration. Public investment will be vital to safeguard these ecosystems and promote the restoration of degraded ecosystems.

There should also be strong support from all levels of government for landscape scale connectivity conservation initiatives such as WildEyre. Such programs are driven by the dual goals of biodiversity and climate change outcomes and provide a strategic focus to integrate NRM and protected areas and landscape scale management of threats.

We also support the findings of the 2012 CSIRO Report Implications for policymakers: climate change, biodiversity conservation and the National Reserve System that “Within landscapes, parts of the environment that provide refuge for species (habitat and resources) during climatic extremes and ecological disturbance (fire, drought, flood, storms) will be increasingly important to help species survive under climate change. In addition, some places are likely to provide long-term refuge to contracting species as the climate changes”.

This report also noted that how other sectors – such as grazing, cropping, forestry, fisheries, water resource management, bushfire management, and tourism – respond to climate change could have adverse impacts on biodiversity. The negative impacts on biodiversity may be outside environmental regulation, or the benefits from other land use may be judged greater than the biodiversity costs, as might happen in intensification of agriculture (including conversion of permanent pasture to cropping and small-scale habitat clearing), activation of sleeper water licences, extraction of groundwater and increased fuel reduction.

> Nicki de Preu

19 Oct 2015

Hi Nicki, thank you for your comments and for getting involved in the 'adapt' discussion. Our team will review your feedback and take it into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy.
To stay informed, sign up to the e-newsletter at
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Valuing nature is an essential adaptation to create a sustainable and desirable future
BBC Earth recently published the ‘Earth Index’ in the financial sections of the Wall Street Journal, The London Times, the Singapore Business Times, and the Economic Times of India. The ‘Earth Index’ provides a ‘dollar value of nature’ that is derived from work that estimates the economic value of ecosystem services. The annual value of the world’s ecosystem services measured in monetary units are typically much larger than the entire global market economy. This kind of information should go a long way toward helping both policy makers and the public make a rational and self-interested adjustment to our collective value system.
Efforts to make dollar estimates of the value of nature are often criticized for being an underestimate of infinity. This is true in the sense that we would not have any economy at all if nature was not cycling nutrients, photosynthesizing, and performing myriad other ecosystem services upon which all human life and economic activity depends. However, we can also say that agriculture, culture, water, or many other major components of the real economy are infinitely valuable for many of the same reasons. However, we don’t pay ‘infinity’ for water. In fact, many of us pay a lot less for water than we do for cell phone service or pet food. We do pay a finite quantity of money – albeit much less than its true value - for water despite the fact that it is infinitely valuable. What we are really after is the relative contribution of water, nature, and other parts of the system to our sustainable well-being, whether they are traded in markets or not. The facts are that the dominant political economy of the earth places a value on nature that is much closer to zero than it is to anything remotely the size of global GDP.
What would our economy look like if nature was valued more? This is a wonderful question to ponder. It is in our collective best interest to protect and sustain the public goods that natural capital provides and there are myriad ways in which to put people to work doing this. Getting nature in this balance is essential if we hope to create a sustainable and desirable future. To get this balance right we have to acknowledge the relative contributions of all of our assets, both marketed and non-marketed.

> paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Hi Paul, Thanks again for getting involved in the discussions, we really value your feedback. Our team will take this into consideration in developing the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
Thanks, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Karl Madigan

13 Oct 2015

I feel that we can often focus on the wrong part of the problem. In this case carbon pollution reduction - carbon my nature is not a pollutant (ask a tree!) the issue is over production. In nature an over production of something will create an opportunity for another species and if we use that as a model we should be looking at how we can use the output to create new useful products. Rather than carbon capture and sequester what about using biology to use the emissions to drive production of biofuels which then can reduce the need to drill for more oil. There are many examples of "blue economies" where waste is reduced by utilizing all outputs of a process. This creates a system of cyclical processes all linked and effectively reducing waste and increasing economic benefits. Lets be more like nature.

> Karl Madigan

13 Oct 2015

Hi Karl, thanks for getting involved in the 'adapt' discussion and for your ideas.
Our team will review your comments and take them into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy.
Our online discussions are open until this Sunday 18 October, so if you have thoughts relating to our other topics, please feel free to make a post.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Jade Manson

25 Sep 2015

I think it will be important to utilise our rooftop space for solar panels, particularly for businesses with high energy usage. Solar powered buses or taxis would also reduce emissions and provide a clean transport option for people wishing to reduce risk their carbon footprint. Thirdly I think we should encourage landlords would install solar panels on rental properties. This would make it easier for tenants to afford increasing electricity prices, and less likely to default on payments. This would be especially useful in low income areas.

I think that if work for the dole is to continue, it should focus more on green initiatives such as planting trees. Car factories that are closing down could be used for making electric cars. And perhaps we could even consider making roads out of recycled plastic like has been done in Denmark :)

> Jade Manson

25 Sep 2015

Hi Jade,
Thanks for your feedback and ideas. The Climate Change Team at DEWNR will take your feedback into consideration for the new Strategy. In the meantime, I encourage you to stay involved in the discussion.

Lewis from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Rachel Eckermann

24 Sep 2015

I have an idea that perhaps the Green Army or Work For the Dole organisers could consider:
Large shopping centers eg. Arndale, Marrion, TTP produce a lot of organic waste....A team of people could be involved in collecting the waste, managing a worm farm in the car park underneath the shopping center and using the resulting compost to grow produce in allotted car parks above ground that would then be fed back into cafes in the shopping centre.
Just a thought

> Rachel Eckermann

25 Sep 2015

Thanks for getting involved and sharing your ideas, Rachel. Our team will take this into consideration when developing the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
Lewis from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Helen Donald

22 Sep 2015

In line with the Minister's vision I see significant advantages to our state in having the SA Government adopt the following:
City rooftop gardens: providing fresh produce for local restaurants (decreasing transport carbon emissions), providing insulations to the buildings below and reducing inner city temperatures as well as providing green (feel good) space for inner city dwellers.
Public access to a fleet of shared electric cars with user-pays "power up" drop off and pick stations in well-considered, easily accessible locations extending across the city and out into the hills region (Mt Barker etc). Less carbon, less need for private ownership of vehicles, less expensive than a taxi for long distances or use over several days, greater mobility for people who cannot afford a car etc.

> Helen Donald

22 Sep 2015

Hi Helen
Thank you for getting involved in the discussion. I encourage you to have a look at the Adapt consultation paper and come along to one of our regional workshops. There is a list of locations and dates on this website. We have had some really great discussions at the events on the importance of green infrastructure in our cities.
Regards, Michelle from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Nathan Chattaway

21 Sep 2015

I know this is an old newspaper article, but the rainwater runoff harvesting principles the City of Salisbury has already implemented would stand the Greater Adelaide region in good stead:

Is Colin Pitman involved in your planning and if not, let's get him involved!

Also, the pioneering Keyline planning work done by P.A. Yeomans in QLD is carried on by his son Ken Yeomans. We should encourage the implementation of Keyline techniques within the water catchment rural properties of the Adelaide Hills, rather than preventing water storage and retention on the land. Read about Keyline here:

Finally, planting trees for the long term is a necessity. Food forests need to be explored and implemented. Graham and Anne-Marie Brookman at the Food Forest in Gawler can help here.

> Nathan Chattaway

22 Sep 2015

Hi Nathan,
Thank you for comments. We appreciate you sharing your ideas and providing links to complementary work. It would be great if you could attend one of our workshops over the coming weeks. A list of dates and locations is on this website. Your input will be considered by the Climate Change team in the development of the new Strategy for SA.
Regards, Michelle from the DEWNR Climate Change team

Natalie Stalenberg

18 Sep 2015

In Adelaide, we will need to adapt to higher average temperatures, and more frequent and intense heat waves. Heat affects all of us, but especially the elderly, those who need help with everyday activities, and those who cannot afford to cool their homes. Heat can be deadly.

We need to re-think the heat traps that our cities and suburbs have become. We need less concrete and gravel, less expanses of tarmac and car parks and a lot more green spaces, trees, shrubs, green walls and roofs.

One complicating factor is that we will have less rainfall. This means that we need to make the most of what we get and get better at adopting 'water sensitive urban design'. This type of design allows water run-off from our roads and other impermeable surfaces to water our nature strips and trees. Check out the good work of the Botanic Gardens here

> Natalie Stalenberg

21 Sep 2015

Hi Natalie,
thanks for getting involved and sharing your ideas. Your feedback will be considered by the Climate Change team in the development of the new Strategy for SA.
Regards, Lewis from the DEWNR Climate Change team

julyan anderson

14 Sep 2015

it is an american video but it pretty much would work amazingly in Australia. The video pretty much sells itself.

> julyan anderson

15 Sep 2015

Hi Julyan,
thanks for posting the link to the video and for getting involved in the discussion! I encourage you to have a look at the Innovate consultation paper and continue to be involved in the discussion.
Lewis from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Craig Wilkins

10 Sep 2015

Author and commentator Naomi Klein, when she was recently in Australia, said that: while disruption and transition is inevitable in the face of dangerous climate change, a JUST transition is not. And that while she is deeply concerned about the world getting warmer, she is just as worried about the world getting meaner. Any response we in SA make to adapt to climate change has to involve choices that make our society fairer and ensure new technology is available for all, not just those who can afford to adapt. Let's focus on projects and initiatives that deliver genuine social and cultural benefits, like retrofitting Housing SA properties to make them highly energy efficient and powered by clean energy.

Also, we need to ensure justice is available for nature as well. We need to build resilience back in to enable adaptation; to allow our plants and animals the best possible chance to adapt and move in response to changing climate and ground conditions. That involves investing in nature spaces like national parks and reserves and better connectivity between biodiversity hot spots across our state.

Also, the state's planning system needs to better reflect the impact climate change will make. The planning system is often at the pointy end of clashes between the needs/desires of different interests in society. Currently it doesn't prioritise enough the hard decisions we all need to make if we are to ensure a just climate transition.

> Craig Wilkins

10 Sep 2015

Thanks for your feedback and ideas Craig - our team will take this into consideration in the development of the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team