Anna
Mitchell

Project: City of Sydney Inclusive Climate Action Framework

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Anna is the Senior Sustainability Strategist at the City of Sydney. Anna’s role includes developing environmental strategies, catalysing internal change to align operations with the strategic direction, and working with external stakeholders to advocate for change in the built environment.

Anna is driven to help organisations become more effective at delivering environmental outcomes. She enjoys working in a collaborative style to address complex sustainability challenges using her strengths in project management, change management, facilitation, and communications.

Before joining City of Sydney, Anna worked in a corporate sustainability role, where she produced annual sustainability reports and led cross-business unit projects addressing environmental, social and governance issues. She has also worked for state government and in consultancy within sustainability and community engagement roles.

MOTIVATION FOR AND COMMITMENT TO CREATING A BETTER AND MORE SUSTAINABLE PLANET

The City has taken a leadership position on climate change for over a decade, and has a strong commitment to ensuring that Sydney is a cohesive and inclusive society. As the impacts of climate change worsen, people in the city who are already disadvantaged will be impacted more severely than others, and may have access to fewer resources to cope. How could existing inequalities worsen with climate change? How can the City’s actions mitigate this? And how are the benefits of the City’s current climate actions being shared?

I’m fortunate enough to work in an organisation that places a high priority on climate action, within a city that is well-off and has the capacity to take decisive action. I’m motivated to drive the City to make the most effective use of our advantages to be a leader in the fight against climate change.

MY PROJECT

Climate change is unfair. As the impacts of climate change worsen, people who are already disadvantaged may be impacted more severely than others and may have access to fewer resources to cope. For example, people sleeping rough are highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, which will become more frequent as a result of climate change. The City is already taking action to address this, working with specialist homelessness services to support vulnerable people during severe weather.

Action on climate change can also be unfair. Programs, rebates and other resources may be available to certain groups, while others miss out. Housing tenure also make a big difference. For example, residents who are renting have limited options to protect themselves from the impacts of heat stress. Installing insulation, air-conditioning and external shading can keep a home cooler, but these changes are all in the hands of the landlord.

My project will explore what the City of Sydney needs to do to ensure its response to climate change promotes equity and inclusion in our community.