Can Queensland thrive amidst climate change?

Is a thriving Queensland possible in an era of climate change? At Economic Development Queensland (EDQ), we answer with a resounding yes. Our vision is clear: to create and invest in sustainable places for Queensland to prosper. At the forefront of this vision is a globally rising concept – climate resilience.

Global challenge, local solutions

There are very few people in the world today who haven’t felt the impacts of a changing climate. The reality is the future climate will be different to today’s climate and past climate and will require a transition to low carbon, climate resilient development.

Responding to this challenge EDQ is building communities, infrastructure, and natural environments that are prepared, adaptable, and swift to recover in the face of climate change. Resilience is about how much a system, be it social, ecological, or economical, can endure without losing its core functions. The tighter our community knits together to understand, manage, and mitigate risks, the quicker we bounce back from crises. Queensland’s communities have shown already how strongly they can knit together in response to disasters.

With the world’s gaze fixed on this year’s United Nations Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP28), the call for greener governmental actions rings louder than ever.

Queensland’s breathtaking landscapes and vibrant communities are not immune to climate change. Faced with intensifying cyclones, bushfires, and droughts, our region calls for proactive, innovative solutions. EDQ is committed to thinking ahead and acting now, merging sustainable urban development with strategies for climate resilience. We’re re-envisioning urban spaces that are environmentally considerate and flexible in the face of changing climates.

The power of partnerships

At the core of EDQ is a relentless drive for innovation, powered by solid partnerships spanning governments, private industries, community organisations and universities. We’re not just about big ideas; we’re about making things happen, bringing technological solutions to life as we go. These partnerships are crucial in tackling today’s climate change challenges. Take for example our investment in clean energy – we’re unlocking pathways to create green energy hubs in the regions with forward-thinkers like green hydrogen manufacturer Fortescue and solar energy giant Acciona leading significant projects that will position Queensland as a leader in clean energy to support global transformation.

Solar Farm
Solar Farm

Queensland’s climate commitment

Innovation and sustainability are our mottos in designing and building places that people love to live in. As part of the Queensland Government, we're playing a big role in meeting the state's bold climate targets of transitioning to 70% renewable energy by 2032 and net zero emissions by 2050. Our strategy is multi-faceted, aimed at decarbonizing our economy and actively engaging stakeholders to steer our communities towards a net-zero emissions future.

Air conditioning system
Innovative energy management in homes

The delicate dance of climate resilience

Addressing climate resilience requires a dual approach: mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation is our forward-thinking hero, striving to cut down the causes of climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and embracing renewable energy. It's about rewriting our future to be greener and cleaner. On the other hand, adaptation is our practical problem-solver, adapting our lifestyles and infrastructure to live with the climate changes that are already happening and will into the future. It's like learning to dance in the rain rather than trying to stop the storm.

Our mitigation strategies include:

  • Leading Australia's green transportation revolution with the Tropical North Queensland Electric Vehicle Drive, the nation's first electric vehicle tourist route. It features six dedicated charging stations across 500km of world-class scenery.
  • Standardizing EV charging infrastructure by integrating charging stations in our projects and ensuring EV readiness in homes.
  • Demonstrating net-zero energy emissions and innovative energy management in homes through our 100% Smart Solar Developments at Carseldine Village and Songbird Oxley.
  • Investing in and delivering large-scale renewable energy projects in Aldoga, Mt Isa, and Salisbury.
EV Charging Stations
EV charging infrastructure

Our adaptation efforts include:

  • Nimble Infrastructure, showcased by our self-contained lighting systems at Cabbage Tree Creek and the Eat Street Northshore carpark, coupled with weather sensors at Northshore, and smart irrigation at The Green in Carseldine Village and the Maritime Green at Northshore.
  • A focus on smart, sustainable urban design at Northshore, utilizing the innovative Digital Twin system to enhance natural light penetration and mitigate urban heat islands – crucial in our in our sub-tropical climate.

Designing and building for a changing climate is just good planning

Imagine a village designed to outsmart nature's most challenging events. That's the story of Carseldine Village. In 2022, when South East Queensland faced the wrath of a 'rain bomb', something remarkable happened — Carseldine stood resilient. This wasn’t a stroke of luck but the fruit of visionary planning. Back in 2018, EDQ’s Climate Adaptation Plan for Carseldine Village was not just a document but a blueprint for the future. It detailed how to turn a flood-prone area into a model of sustainability. By integrating advanced Water Sensitive Urban Design, Carseldine Village was equipped with sophisticated drainage systems and bioretention basins, more like nature's own defense mechanisms. These were no ordinary measures; they were innovative solutions that turned the tide against an extreme climate event.

The economic upside

Integrating climate resilience into our projects isn't just about damage control; it's about unlocking new opportunities and sparking innovation for long-term economic and social growth. Climate-resilient developments can catalyse job creation and protect infrastructure, translating into substantial economic benefits.

Transforming intent into impact

At EDQ, we recognise that the impacts of climate change are happening now, and we're working towards a comprehensive Climate Change Strategy to enhance our climate risk management capabilities and leverage our land assets for responsible, sustainable development.

Our approach includes embedding climate risk in planning and development decisions to build safer communities, deliver resilient infrastructure, and enable responsible development while reducing emissions and managing natural resources sustainably.

However, tackling climate change is a team effort. EDQ’s partnerships across government, private sector, NGOs, and communities are essential to address complex challenges and secure long-term prosperity. We're uniquely positioned to drive meaningful action in building resilience and protecting our environment.

Together, we can redefine Queensland's future, making it more resilient in the face of climate change. At EDQ, we are committed not only to envisioning bold ideas but also to transforming these ideas into tangible actions. Our approach is marked by innovation and a diversity of capabilities, uniquely tailored to each opportunity. We pride ourselves on finishing what we start. This is how we lead – with dedication and precision. We want to see a future where every generation has a thriving Queensland to call home.

Last updated: 28 June 2024