Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment
Despite strong global action, the impacts of climate change will continue to increase over the coming decades. Australia is already experiencing more frequent and severe extreme events due to climate change.
Mitigation policies alone are not enough to stop the impacts of climate change from increasing. Australia needs to adapt. This is supported by advice from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change who stated the urgent need to prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Improving evidence-based decision-making
We are taking strong action to protect Australians from more frequent and devastating extreme weather events. We are investing in Australia’s first National Climate Risk Assessment to better understand the risks and impacts to Australia from climate change.
The National Climate Risk Assessment (the Risk Assessment) is part of the $28m budget measure and will be delivered over 2 years from 2023 to 2024. The Risk Assessment will identify and prioritise things that Australians value the most that are of national significance and are at risk of climate change. These may include things that relate to Australia’s environment, biodiversity, health, infrastructure agriculture, and the economy.
This investment will give us robust and scientifically sound evidence. It will help governments, businesses and communities understand how climate risks will impact Australia’s assets.
The Risk Assessment will build on the work already done by Australian governments’ climate risk programs over many years. It will deliver a shared national framework to inform national priorities for climate adaptation and resilience actions. It will enable consistent monitoring of climate risk across all jurisdictions.
The Risk Assessment will deliver a baseline of current climate risks. It will also consider new and emerging risks. The Risk Assessment will be evidence-based. It will draw on the expertise and capability of world-leading scientists through the Australian Climate Service (ACS). The ACS is a partnership between the Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, CSIRO and Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Risk Assessment Stages
The Risk Assessment is planned to be the first assessment of our climate risks, and this will be repeated over time. The first Risk Assessment will be delivered in 3 stages using a methodology developed during the scoping stage 0. It will provide both a qualitative and quantitative assessment. The first Risk Assessment will focus on physical climate risks, in line with current international practices. Transition risks may be included in future Risk Assessments.
We are currently delivering on Stage 0 and scoping the Risk Assessment. We will engage with stakeholders to help identify what are the things valued by Australians that are at risk of being impacted by climate change. This is informing the development of a methodology for delivering on a national climate risk assessment.
We expect to finalise the Methodology in June 2023.
The first pass assessment will be a qualitative assessment. It will draw from literature and use expert input to prioritise things valued by Australians that are at risk of being impacted by climate change.
We expect to finalise the first pass assessment and deliver a list of priority risks for Australia in November 2023.
The second pass assessment will provide an in‑depth quantitative and semi-qualitative analysis of the highest priority risks. This will include an assessment of how climate hazards are changing, exposure to hazards, and vulnerability data. This can be used to guide and inform adaptation action and investment by all levels of government, industry, the private sector and other organisations.
We expect to complete the second pass assessment in November 2024.
The ACS and its partners will build and maintain datasets and indicators. These will be consistent across national and local scales, support risk awareness and inform decision-making.
Information provided to governments, businesses and communities will help them understand their climate risks and plan. This will directly benefit those without a dedicated climate science research capability within their organisations. It will also increase the capacity and capabilities of those organisations that do have a climate science capability.
Climate adaptation in Australia
For more information email the Risk Assessment team at email@example.com