The SA Government has announced its ambition for the City of Adelaide to the world’s first carbon neutral city, and aims to work with the Adelaide City Council to achieve this goal. Industry and community participation will be crucial. This initiative will drive further emissions reductions, increase the demand for renewable energy, build the State’s green industries, increase resource efficiency, improve waste management and facilitate the transition to cleaner transport modes. 

Read the Carbon Neutral Adelaide paper (PDF, 1.11MB)

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

  • What actions could government, industry and the community take to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the City of Adelaide and create economic opportunities for the State?

Comments closed

19 Oct 2015

Thank you to everyone for getting involved in the 'Carbon Neutral Adelaide' 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

Sally C

18 Oct 2015

I agree with Peter's comments. I'd also like to see innovative businesses more actively supported and promoted by Adelaide City Council (ACC) and the State Government. EcoCaddy is a business I learnt of recently that provides zero emissions transport within the ACC area. Using them as an example, could Government and council workers be encouraged to use this service to travel to meetings within the city in lieu of fleet vehicles or taxis when walking is not an option? Could their service be promoted or connected to the city's festivals/events for free or at minimum charge to help them expand? Could other businesses consistent with the zero emissions target be identified and actively supported? We need to think outside the square to tackle these problems....

Sally C > Sally C

18 Oct 2015

In instances where offsets need to be used it would also be great to see state or national carbon offsets purchased (as opposed to international offsets). Projects generating Australian Carbon Credit Units could be a source of offsets.

> Sally C

18 Oct 2015

Hi Sally, thanks for getting involved in the discussion and for your suggestions regarding the carbon neutral Adelaide initiative. Our team will take your feedback into consideration in the development of the new climate change strategy. If you'd like to stay informed you can sign up to our e-newsletter on the DEWNR website at
Thanks again for your comments.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Ian Radbone

17 Oct 2015

Peter Lumb's comment says it all about the challenge facing the government in making the City of Adelaide carbon neutral when 40% of its emissions come from cars. The Council and the City's businesses believe that these cars are essential for the City's economic health and even now are thinking of ripping up the Frome Street Bikeway and replacing it with a narrower bikeway to make more room for cars.
Although it mentioned transport emissions, the discussion paper didn't suggest how the achieving the target would surmount this reality. Probably off-sets are the answer. While this would be understandable, I hope the government looks at doing something to reduce emissions from transport. Is a levy on vehicle carbon emissions constitutionally possible? Is there someway the Council could be convinced to restrict some parking spaces to electric vehicles? This could be one of a number of incentives to encourage electric delivery vehicles in the City.

> Ian Radbone

17 Oct 2015

Hi Ian, great to have you involved in the discussion about the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative. Our team will be reviewing all of the comments and will take them into consideration when developing the new climate change strategy for SA. Your comments will also be passed onto the team working on the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative, which is being developed by the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources in partnership with the Adelaide City Council.
Thanks again for getting involved.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

Peter Lumb

16 Oct 2015

The paper proposes the following questions
• What ideas do you have for how investment and job opportunities can be created from the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative?
• What initiatives would create the greatest economy wide benefits?
• What actions and investments do you consider are important to achieve Carbon Neutral Adelaide?
Looking across the Overview and five papers, I am impressed with the achievements of my home state and City (I am a city resident). I am given hope that South Australia may be more a part of the solution rather than a part of the problem, of carbon emissions.
I am also impressed with the ambition in many areas. However, one action I suggest is reviving the South Australia Strategic Plan documentation of measurements for a range of targets relevant to this Carbon Neutral strategy. This seems to me important as a method for increasing transparency and credibility. How will we know what progress is being made over the next five years?
I am interested in the Carbon Neutral Adelaide proposal, as well as the lack of detail about reducing carbon emissions from transport (40% of all emissions produced in the City).
A recent report to the Adelaide City Council from staff produced in relation to the Frome Street Bikeway, notes very significant reduction in traffic movements in major Adelaide City streets. To some extent traffic has moved to ring routes, but significant increases in public transport use and cycling are reported. State government and City Council strategies to reduce car use for a range of purpose (and therefore to reduce carbon emissions) are working and more people are living and working in the City and economic activity is shown to be increasing steadily.
Despite these achievements, and despite the possibility of offsets, to achieve carbon neutrality in the City of Adelaide (and to improve the living conditions for city residents who have additional pollution concerns to CO2 production alone), further large continuing reductions in Average Daily Traffic (ADT) volumes seems essential. It would seem very difficult to achieve carbon neutrality with a 40% of all City CO2 being traffic emissions. Many cities overseas show far greater leadership, than Adelaide, in changing mobility from carbon intense emitting mobility to more sustainable forms of mobility (Guiding Principle p8)
At present Copenhagen aims to be carbon neutral by 2025 while Adelaide aims to be carbon neutral by 2020. Copenhagen emits 22% of its CO2 from traffic and Adelaide 40%. By 2025, Copenhagen wants 75 percent of trips to be made by foot, bike, or public transit. The SA Government has five fewer years and 18% more emissions on this measure to reduce in order to support the aim of being the first city in the world to be carbon neutral. Yet Copenhagen continues to drive up walking, cycling and public transport use with a far greater sense of urgency, and with significant financial allocations, unlike Adelaide. Denmark’s ‘State of Green’ website has many cases demonstrating how seriously that nation is taking CO2 reduction on many fronts, but including continuing larger reductions from traffic while continuing to increase walking, cycling and public transport use. click Sustainable Transport.
What investment and job opportunities and actions can be created through the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative?
• Complete electrification of Adelaide’s train network.
• Implement more urgently the SA Integrated Transport and Land Use Plan especially in relation to light rail.
• In association with the City of Adelaide develop a serious City and Metro Adelaide Cycling Strategy modelled on Copenhagen’s which emphasises a network of separated bikeways and which is seriously funded.
• In association with the City of Adelaide develop a serious City and near metro Adelaide Walking Strategy emphasising a funded network of city access walkways.
• Limit car parking in all new City developments and reduce commercial car parking spaces in the city by 2% per annum, and introduce a tax on motor vehicle carbon emissions.
Investments to create the employment and the infrastructure and assets to go towards carbon neutral Adelaide would need to be publicly funded and presumably mostly to come from Commonwealth grants or loans. So probably Adelaide’s carbon neutrality depends on increasing Commonwealth (tax) revenues and then tied grants to SA for the purposes of realising the carbon neutral proposal.
Achieving Carbon Neutral Adelaide will also require changing the culture of the people of Adelaide in relation to mobility, and a changed set of priorities about mobility in the City from most of the current elected representatives at the Adelaide City Council.
Probably the most important action when developing a ‘coherent and consistent policy’ Guiding Principal Overview) through the New Climate Strategy for SA is to have support for the SA Liberal Party, the Greens and the Adelaide City Council. Are such negotiations underway?

> Peter Lumb

16 Oct 2015

Hi Peter, thanks for getting involved in the discussion and for your feedback regarding the Carbon Neutral Adelaide initiative.
Our team will review your comments and take it into consideration in the development of the new climate change strategy for SA.
To stay informed about this initiative, make sure you sign up to our e-newsletter. You can find a link on our website at
Thanks again for getting involved.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team

paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Build Electric Cars in South Australia

I have noticed that South Australia seems to be losing what was once a well-regarded automotive industry. I have also always wondered why Australia at some level does not have an industrial policy that would support/subsidize the establishment of an electric vehicle manufacturing capability. I understand some see issues with range of vehicle etc. However, Adelaide is full of little sedans (e.g. Toyota Yaris, Honda Jazz, etc.) that are commuter vehicles that likely don’t drive more than 100 km per day which constitute the lion’s share of kilometers driven in any case. My father owned a Nissan Leaf that he powered with solar panels on his roof that he used for over 95% of his daily driving. Building an electric vehicle manufacturing facility is win-win-win-win. It is clean technology jobs that help Adelaide become carbon neutral, cleans our air, and reduces our dependence on fossil fuel.

Proposal: A joint venture between SA Universities and the South Australian government to build an electric car manufacturing facility in the northern Adelaide suburbs.
Question: How does it get funded? Crowd-source it. Offer the people of South Australia (reach farther if necessary) the opportunity to buy shares in this Government – University partnership –
A ‘Public offering on a Public-Public Partnership’. If you run with this idea I would love to be given the opportunity to buy the first piece of this company. Why do this?

1) Built-in industry Internships for students from engineering, design, and other areas of the universities.
2) Get the public literally invested in the success of our universities and economy in a way that creates jobs and helps reduce our carbon footprint.
3) Build a simple people’s car that helps create a more ‘resilient’ and ‘carbon-neutral’ South Australia (See if we can manufacture all parts locally) Design the car from cradle-to-grave with the intention of reusing and recycling things like batteries rather than the ‘planned obsolescence’ that is built into the incentive structure of a ‘private’ industry.
4) Multiplier effect through spinoff industries (e.g. smart car technology, batteries, solar panels, etc. )
5) Have a competition for naming the car (I came up with ZAPcar – Zippy Australian People’s car)

> paul sutton

13 Oct 2015

Hi Paul, thanks for posting in the Carbon Neutral Adelaide discussion about your ideas for a joint venture to promote electric car manufacturing in SA.
Our team will take this into consideration in developing the new Climate Change Strategy for SA.
Regards, Janet from the DEWNR Climate Change Team