Adapting to climate change
Queensland is no stranger to volatile and extreme weather conditions, floods, heat waves or bushfires. However climate change is expected to amplify the frequency and severity of extreme weather events. Scientists warn that Queensland will increasingly be affected by changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level rise and extreme weather events. With this knowledge, it makes good social and economic sense to take action sooner rather than later and better manage our climate risks.
In 2015, the Queensland Government committed to developing and implementing a Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS) to address risks to our economy, environment, infrastructure and communities from current and future climate impacts.
To assist local government, business and industry and communities understand their risks and prepare for the impacts of climate change, the Queensland Government has developed resources that provide information on our expected future climate. These resources include a series of regional climate change projections and the Climate Change in Queensland map application. The Queensland Government will also provide climate hazard data at a scale appropriate for local level decision-making and to help increase knowledge about the effect of climate change on health, infrastructure and land use planning. Coastal hazard and erosion prone area mapping is also available to help decision-makers consider the risk associated with rising sea level.
Well considered and effective adaptation measures can limit the adverse impacts on the economy and natural systems. Adaptation can take many forms, including changing the way we do business, building infrastructure, planning communities, or facilitating species movement.
The Queensland Government is investing $3 million over three years to support the development and implementation of Q-CAS in order to improve opportunities and reduce risks to our communities, economy, infrastructure and environment from current and future climate impacts.
To consider the complex issues that emerge in the context of climate change impacts, the strategy will be developed in partnership with a wide range of sectors and reflect best available science. This approach recognises that we can achieve more if we act together to effectively plan for and manage current and future climate impacts across different sectors and regions.
The Queensland Climate Adaptation Directions Statement
Queensland’s communities, regions, industries and governments are already taking steps by planning and acting for the changes we face. There are many examples of climate adaptation actions already underway for others to learn from and build upon.
In October 2016, the Queensland Government released the Queensland Climate Adaptation Directions Statement (PDF, 7.11MB) which provided the broad directions for developing a comprehensive climate adaptation strategy for the state.
Public consultation on the Directions Statement closed on 9 January 2017. During the consultation period, the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection conducted a number of information sessions and workshops in regional centres, including Brisbane, Cairns, Charleville, Gold Coast, Longreach, Proserpine and Yeppoon.
This regional consultation was undertaken to ensure the Queensland adaptation and mitigation strategies capture regional impacts, risks and opportunities, and reflect the needs of regional communities.
Feedback and ideas submitted during public consultation will be considered during the development of the Q-CAS.
The Q-CAS Partners include representatives of local government, business, industry, and community, as well as environmental stewards. The establishment of the Q-CAS Partners was the first step toward properly identifying risks, needs and opportunities across this state. The Queensland Government will work with Partners, government organisations and the public to ensure Queensland is made resilient and can adapt to the effects of climate change.
Further information on the Q-CAS Partners meetings is available via the communiqué updates. The second Q-CAS Partner meeting was held on 25 November 2015. The Q-CAS Partners now have a Partner climate adaptation priorities document available. The document includes a brief biography of the Q-CAS Partners, their key climate change issues, and what they hope to achieve through the development of the Q-CAS.
The Q-CAS Partners include:
- Chamber of Commerce and Industry Qld
- Green Cross Australia
- Insurance Council of Australia
- Local Government Association of Qld
- National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility
- Natural Resources Management
- Office of Chief Scientist
- Planning Institute of Australia
- Property Council of Australia
- Qld Conservation Council
- Qld Council of Social Services
- Qld Council of Unions
- Qld Farmers Federation
- Qld Resource Council
- Qld Tourism Industry Council
- Qld Youth Climate Coalition
- Red Cross
- SEQ Water
- Volunteering Queensland
- World Wildlife Fund
- Torres Strait Island Regional Authority
If you require any additional information on the Queensland Government’s climate adaptation initiatives, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.