The purpose of this paper is to explore legal, information and insurance issues that arise in the context of managing the inherent uncertainty and risks of climate change and its impacts. The focus of the paper is the use of data that informs adaptation – how it can be collated, updated and disseminated, and how it can be incorporated into instruments to affect adaptation by governments, communities and individuals.
The paper examines legal tools, mechanisms and principles for risk management, including the precautionary principle, adaptive management and integrated decision making. It then explores the interface between information and technology, including the use of integrating multiple datasets to provide tools to manage emergencies such as fire and flood. Insurance is examined as an example of a sector which is able to utilise climate and hazard data to drive adaptation by governments as well as individuals. Finally, the paper explores potential liability issues that may arise for government authorities from the use, or non-use, of climate information.