Incorporating climate change impacts and adaptation into capital investment decision-making

Climate change adaptation Climate change Infrastructure Sustainability Capital investments

The organisers aimed to take a multi-disciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach to the incorporation of climate change impacts and adaptation into capital investment decision-making. Bringing together researchers, government, industry and the community to articulate the problem and possible solutions, the Think Tank was an important stage in the development of a wider research agenda on these issues.

Recommendations for policy:

1. That government implement improved consultation and communication for infrastructure policy and planning, particularly with regard to identifying qualitative environmental and social impacts and benefits of alternative capital investment options.

2. That government provide mechanisms for consideration of social and environmental impacts and benefits in infrastructure decision making.

3. Significant financial resources are required to upgrade infrastructure. Government and industry should develop and use holistic assessment techniques, procedures and processes to ensure that the range of benefits from proposed investments are captured. These can include:

  • Better economic models and better financial quantification of impacts and benefits incorporating appropriate discount rates. High discount rates tend to push costs onto future generations and minimising the effect of long-term benefits on current decisions.
  • Improved formal assessment techniques that provide for the assessment of the broader worth of many projects.

4. More research is required to assess the wider benefits from investment in infrastructure renewal in the housing sector.

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