Climate change and sub-national governments

Sub-national governments in Australia face complex challenges and opportunities in their efforts to achieve climate change mitigation goals. As this report and others attest, there is considerable climate policy activity at the sub-national level, though the ambition, coordination, funding support and overall strategic intent of activity varies enormously across the country. When viewed across local, city, state/territory and national levels, the policy landscape could be described as ad hoc and ‘messy’ rather than strategic, well integrated and efficient.

Professor Karen Hussey (The University of Queensland) and Dr Rob Hales (Griffith University) were contracted to deliver a report to inform discussions at the Climate Action Roundtable (CAR) in February 2017. CAR is an inter-jurisdictional alliance of state and local governments in Australia. It aims to work collaboratively to deliver low carbon social and economic benefits to its jurisdictions. The report’s objectives were to:

Objective 1:
Identify common ground among sub-national governments for the 2017 National Climate Change Policy Review, and

Objective 2:
Develop a forward work program on climate change for state, territory and local governments to agree to, identify opportunities for collaboration, and increase scale with sub-national government coordination.

Twenty-seven jurisdictions including all states and territories, state capital cities and a number regional councils, were surveyed to identify commonalities and leading practice in climate mitigation policy. The research identified the overarching climate strategies of each jurisdiction, where one existed, and so as to ‘unpack’ the intent, focus and carbon abatement potential of the jurisdictions’ policies, the research analysed the results across the following sectors: Electricity; Waste; Transport; Land; and Energy Efficiency, and the Built Environment. The report provided a recommended work program which is being adopted by CAR. As a result Professor Hussey was further contracted by CAR to produce a report providing governance options for CAR as it grows into the future.



Professor Karen Hussey
Director, Centre for Policy Futures, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences UQ

Dr Rob Hales
Director, Centre for Sustainable Enterprise, Griffith Business School, Griffith University