Climate change impacts and risk management: a guide for business and government

28 Sep 2006

The global climate is changing, and will continue to change, in ways that affect the planning and day to day operations of businesses, government agencies and other organisations. The manifestations of climate change include higher temperatures, altered rainfall patterns, and more frequent or intense extreme events such as heatwaves, drought, and storms. This document is a guide to integrating climate change impacts into risk management and other strategic planning activities in Australian public and private sector organisations. The purpose of this Guide is to assist Australian businesses and organisations to adapt to climate change. The Guide is separated into three parts.

Part A describes what the Guide is about. In addition to the items covered in the Introduction, it discusses why there is a need to assess climate change risk (Chapter 2) and the fundamentals of risk assessment and management (Chapter 3).

Part B outlines how to conduct an initial strategic assessment centred on a workshop process. Chapter 4 describes the tasks and necessary steps that must be taken in preparation before the workshop. Chapter 5 describes the workshop process itself and how to effectively identify, analyse and evaluate the risks to the organisation arising from changes in climate. Chapter 6 describes the actions and responses required post-workshop in order to treat the identified risks. It notes that the ‘treatment’ of risks may involve more detailed analyses of some specific risks.

Part C deals with other considerations. Chapter 7 briefly outlines some of the considerations that arise if a more detailed analysis of some specific risks is required. Chapter 8 sets the risk assessment in the broader context of strategic planning and management, and therefore deals with the wider questions of the preparation, planning and integration of the risk assessment in an organisation’s normal processes for planning and management.

A summary checklist of tasks and hints and a glossary of climate change and risk management terms are provided as appendices.

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