Planning for Climate Change

Local Government NSW have developed a workshop package to help NSW councils develop a climate change action plan.

The Workshop Package offers:

  • A template for a climate change action plan.
  • Evaluation forms.
  • Group activities and facilitation techniques.
  • PowerPoint presentations.
  • Technical guidance and references.
  • Risk assessment tools and templates.
  • Step-by-step guide to facilitating structured workshops and meetings.
  • Examples and case studies.

The Workshop Package is structured in Modules (1-8). Councils can select relevant modules to tailor their needs, or use all modules. 


The overview (PDF) explains the structure, scope, processes and principles of the Workshop Package. Learn how to start climate change action planning in your council.

Module 1: Introduction to Climate Change

Note: Before commencing module 1, it's recommended that you read the overview above.

This module provides guidance on how to prepare, deliver and evaluate an introductory workshop on climate change.

Module 1 - Introduction to Climate Change (PDF)

A basic introductory PowerPoint presentation with presenter's notes* can be adapted to suit your organisation's needs, interests and local context.

*To view the presenter's notes, you will need to save the PowerPoint.

Evaluation forms (Word) can be a useful way to survey participants on their attitudes and awareness of climate change and what they may have learnt from the workshop.

Module 2: Setting the Context

This module helps facilitators to hold a workshop in which participants will:

  • Understand the uncertainty surrounding climate change projections.
  • Appreciate how climate change may impact council and the Local Government area.
  • Brainstorm and agree on the most likely impacts for council.

Module 2 - Setting the Context (PDF)

Download the PowerPoint presentation of presenter's notes*. The facilitator should add locally or regionally relevant projections, narratives and photographs to the PowerPoint presentation.

*To view the presenter's notes, you will need to save the PowerPoint.

Module 2 - Context assumptions template (Word)

Module 3: Assessing Climate Change Risk

This module provides methodology and a suite of materials to assist facilitators and workshop participants to assess risks to council associated with climate change.

Module 3 - Assessing Climate Change Risk (PDF)

Facilitators may wish to download the PowerPoint presentation* for risk assessment workshops and should tailor this presentation to suit the organisation.

*To view the presenters' notes, you will need to save the PowerPoint.

Module 3 - Workshop briefing paper template (Word)

Module 3 - Risk identification exercise handout (Word)

The NSW Government has provided further advice in a Guide to climate change risk assessment for NSW Local Government.

Module 4: Identifying Adaptation Actions

The module explains how adaptation actions can be identified and brainstormed in a workshop setting. It also outlines how councils can determine the potential effectiveness of adaptation actions.

Module 4 - Identifying and Prioritising Adaptation Actions (PDF)

The PowerPoint presentation* explains the concept of climate change adaptation and provides presenter's notes and instructions for group work to brainstorm adaptation actions.

*To view the presenters' notes you will need to save the PowerPoint.

Module 4 - Adaptation actions template (Word)

Module 5: An Emissions Inventory

The module is designed to:

  • Assist council to understand the principles of setting greenhouse gas reporting boundaries.
  • Research and collect the relevant data and emissions factors.
  • Develop an inventory.
  • Identify council's major emission sources.

Module 5 - Undertaking and Interpreting Greenhouse Gas Inventories (PDF)
Module 5 - Meeting agenda template (Word)

Module 6: Identifying Mitigation Actions

The module outlines how to research mitigation actions and methods, and then how to prioritise them.

Module 6 - Identifying and Prioritising Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Options (PDF)

Download the PowerPoint presentation with presenters' notes* for use in facilitating a workshop. This can be adapted to suit the length and style of workshop.

*To view the presenters' notes, you need to save the PowerPoint presentation.

Module 6 - Emissions reduction actions template (Word)

Module 7: Preparing an Action Plan

This module touches on key processes, such as:

  • Developing a climate change action plan.
  • Resourcing and reviewing the plan.
  • Engaging relevant stakeholders in the development of the plan.
  • Developing a strategy to integrate the action plan into strategic and business plans.

Module 7 - Preparing an Action Plan (PDF)
The module outlines a suggested framework for the action plan and a template for an action plan is also provided. The template can be tailored to suit the needs of individual councils.
Module 7 - Action plan template (Word)
Module 7 - Meeting agenda template (Word)

Module 8: Reviewing the Action Plan

This module will assist councils to review progress in acting on climate change, implement adaptive management, and improve the action plan.

Module 8 - Reviewing the Action Plan (PDF)

Module 8 - Meeting agenda template (Word)

Tools and Templates



Risk assessment tool and multi-criteria analysis (MCA) tools for assessing risk and adaptation actions:

Multi-criteria analysis (MCA) tools for assessing emissions reduction actions:

Note: The Microsoft Excel spreadsheets can be locked to prevent accidental erasing of formulas and data. They can also be unlocked by going to the Tools menu, selecting Protection » Unprotect Sheet.

Evaluation Forms

These evaluation forms can adapted to suit your organisation, information, and style of workshop.

Tip: Print the evaluation forms on coloured paper so that they can be easily identified among workshop hand outs, notes and other papers.