The ACT Government is weighing what further actions it should take in response to climate change, including stricter energy efficiency rules for buildings and ensuring there are cool spaces available during heat waves.
It has unveiled a community survey that asks what people think about the changing climate, how they are responding and adapting to it, and what actions government should take to deal with it.
To be conducted by the University of Canberra over coming weeks, the survey aims to assess community attitudes and its vulnerability to climate change.
Minister for Climate Change and Sustainability Shane Rattenbury said the survey would look at the impact of a changing climate on people’s health and wellbeing; the livability of the ACT’s suburbs and homes; how people cope and prepare for extreme events such as storms and bushfires, and community views about climate change.
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“We know the reality of climate change means longer, hotter summers with an increased frequency and severity of heatwaves and droughts, storms and bushfires,” he said.
“Even though the ACT is taking a leading role in tackling climate change, more extreme weather events are an increasing reality. We need to understand how climate change is affecting people in their day to day lives, and how to most effectively reduce vulnerability to these impacts. ”
The survey asks respondents how easy it is for them to keep their home comfortable in hot and cold weather, how much they spend on energy bills and how prepared they are for extreme weather events.
Mr Rattenbury said the survey was part of the ACT Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and aimed to provide a comprehensive picture of the strategies needed to help the community respond to a changing climate.
The Government aims to get at least 1,200 ACT residents to complete the survey in order to establish baseline data about community resilience to climate change, with the survey repeated in coming years to determine trends.
The survey, run by the University of Canberra’s Dr Jacki Schirmer and her team, is open until Friday 9 March. The University will deliver postcards randomly to 20,000 households to raise awareness of the project.
Seven gift voucher prizes of up to $1000 are also on offer to encourage people to participate in the survey before the closing date. For more information and to take part in the survey visit www.act.gov.au/climatesurvey