Australia has just released its National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy (NCRAS). The NCRAS has three key objectives, through which it aims to achieve nation-wide adaptation for Australia. It’s aims are to:
1. drive investment and action through collaboration
2. improve climate information and services for better decision-making
3. assess progress and improve Australia’s adaptive capacity over time.
The strategy will support Australia’s commitments under the Paris Agreement, including the development of adaptation communications and national assessments to start tracking adaptation.
However, this high-level strategy will have to move towards implementation after COP26 and start considering questions such as how Australia can measure national progress, and how additional domestic adaptation finance needs and priorities are going to be identified and resourced. For example, in the aftermath of the unprecedented bushfires of 2019/20, there have been increasing calls across the country to start a new conversation as to what effective adaptation can, should or could look like in Australia.
If we are facing more floods, more drought, more bushfires and heatwaves, how can we ensure that our communities are ready? What kinds of decisions can we make now to start adapting our infrastructure to these changing conditions? And how do we consider future risks in land use planning, especially in areas where communities are already vulnerable and facing significant impacts from climate change?
Many of these questions will hit home as the climate impacts continue to unfold in our country. But the good news is that we still have options to adapt. The first step, however, is to accept that our climate is changing and that we need to change our decision-making processes. Using foresight and adopting a forward-looking mindset, we can collectively aim for a more adapted and resilient Australia, while also getting serious about reducing emissions this decade.
This article was originally published on the Professional Learning Hub (PL Hub) The PL Hub is the university’s platform for developing and delivering bespoke professional development programs for organisations.