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Saturday, November 8, 2008

Climate and Australia's Infrastructure

The Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering has published a study of the impacts of climate change on Australia's infrastructure entitled Assessment of Impacts of Climate Change on Australia's Physical Infrastructure (see also this report from 2007 on climate impacts to infrastructure in Victoria). One of the key conclusions noted in the Executive Summary states:

...there is an urgent need to establish national guidelines for the evaluation, design and planning of infrastructure subject to the effects of climate change. These guidelines would represent appropriate policy solutions to climate change adaptation by considering the expected consequences of climate change and would be assessed within a risk assessment framework. Due consideration should be given to financial, legal, social, environmental and emergency management matters.

In addition, the report notes other barriers to adaptation including the lack of professionals with appropriate training to facilitate climate risk assessments and the design of appropriate adaptation strategies. Furthermore, the study acknowledges that adaptation "may require intervention by Government to ensure that planning is fully integrated."

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