Australia's National Sea Change Task Force has released a study examining the planning dimensions of climate change for coastal communities. The report compares "best" and "current" Australia practice with respect to coastal management and planning, leading to the following recommendations in pursuit of sustainability:
- That all State and territorial planning authorities enact high level planning policy to "mainstream" climate change mitigation and adaptation considerations in all coastal planning decisions, to ensure long term liveability and adaptability for coastal communities;
- That in response to climate change, local councils undertake an initial vulnerability assessment.
- That a formal climate change vulnerability assessment be undertaken at regional or local scales to support strategic land use planning decisions and significant development assessment in coastal amenity areas.
- That carbon impact of future land use or development forms must become an explicit consideration in all strategic land use planning and development assessment processes in coastal areas.
- That in any adaptive response to climate change, consideration be given to the possible "equity" issues that may arise as a result of financial (eg. pricing policy) or regulatory (eg. building codes), and the differential impacts for particular members of coastal communities that may be particularly vulnerable to pricing or regulatory
- That a mechanism be established to encourage and enable collaboration between neighbouring local councils in responding to climate change.
- That Federal and State governments support local councils in building expertise and in undertaking the necessary vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning work with dedicated funding and data resources.
- That further research on understanding and responding to social vulnerability to
climate change impacts be undertaken, with priority assistance given to coastal areas where physical exposure, socio-economic disadvantage, and population instability coincide.
- That an intergovernmental agreement involving all three levels of government be developed to clearly state the commitments and responsibilities of Federal, State and Local Government in planning for climate change.