Carbon Neutral Adelaide

In 2015 the State Government and Adelaide City Council committed to a joint aspiration for Adelaide to become the world’s first carbon neutral city. We signed a sector agreement to formalise that collaboration, and released a shared vision document that outlined our direction and priorities for pursuing our goal.

The Climate Change Strategy 2015-2050 provides a framework for action to maximise the state’s opportunities for renewal and transformation and it sets a target for the state to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. One of the six pillars underpinning this target is Adelaide becoming the world’s first carbon neutral city.

What is carbon neutral?

We will be carbon neutral when net greenhouse gas emissions within the Adelaide city Council area (including the Park Lands, CBD and North Adelaide) are equal to zero. This will be achieved by reducing emissions as a priority and offsetting remaining emissions (e.g. by supporting a tree planting scheme that will absorb carbon dioxide).

How will we make Adelaide a carbon neutral city?

The Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2016-2021 outlines a way forward for mobilising efforts to achieve carbon neutrality for the City of Adelaide. Based on the shared vision and framework for action released in November 2015, it sets out a five-year action plan that aims for rapid emissions reduction in the city by building community partnership and focusing on five pathways to carbon neutrality.

Read the Carbon Neutral Action Plan 2016-2021

Read the Carbon Neutral Action Plan Summary 2016-2021

Through Carbon Neutral Adelaide partners, we will empower our community to build upon its internationally significant achievements between 2007 and 2015 which resulted in decoupling of economic growth and operational carbon emissions.

Adelaide will be a showcase for the uptake of renewable and clean technologies and for embracing the economic opportunities of responding to climate change. Together with the community we will build on Adelaide’s reputation as a clean, green and livable city.

How did we get here?

Carbon Neutral Adelaide: A shared vision for the world’s first carbon neutral city , released in November 2015, outlines the following six areas of focus for implementation:

  1. Building partnerships and encourage community action
  2. Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy in the city
  3. Transforming the way we travel
  4. Reducing emissions from waste
  5. Investing in large scale renewables across the state
  6. Identifying offset opportunities to reduce emissions and deliver economic return.

The shared vision has been informed by analysis undertaken in the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Foundation Report

The community and businesses have helped to shape this commitment as part of Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan Consultation and developing a new climate change strategy for South Australia.

Read the Carbon Neutral Adelaide Action Plan Consultation Summary Report

How can I be involved?

Adelaide can only become carbon neutral if we all work together.

We want to work with the community to implement the action plan together to reduce our carbon emissions. We will continue to work with business and industry and people that live, work or study in the City of Adelaide so we can achieve this shared vision together.

More information

For more information, contact the Climate Change Team in the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) by email: or Adelaide City Council’s City Sustainability and Park Lands Team by email: