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The economics of climate change

The economics of climate change

Just as the first reports of coronavirus infections emerged, the World Economic Forum (WEF) released its Global Risk Report 2020. Climate change featured prominently, with environmental risks occupying the top 5 in the Evolving Risks Landscape report.  Shortly after, the pandemic unfurled globally, decimating national economies in a matter of weeks.  Does this mean the WEF report was wrong?
 
Not at all. If anything, the WEF report has taken on a more poignant significance. Climate change drives risk in a number of unique ways – including risk to human health arising from the cascading effects of environmental degradation.  While the policy, management and funding focus at a National and State level has predominantly been on extreme events, the slow burn effects of climate change are creating the preconditions for grey rhino* events just like the pandemic.  
 
Now, more than ever, all levels of government need to be taking a holistic approach to climate risk management that considers chronic physical and transition risks on an equal footing with acute physical risks.
 

Climate Risk Management Framework for Queensland Local Government Release

In response to this need, the Climate Risk Management Framework for Queensland Local Government and its companion guideline are now available for a twelve month user testing period. The documents were developed after extensive engagement with local governments participating in the Q CRC program and key State government agencies including the Queensland Reconstruction Authority (QRA), Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES), Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors (DCDSS) and Department of Environment and Science (DES) . The framework provides an overarching approach to progressing planning and response development organisationally and in collaboration with key community partners and stakeholder groups, while the guideline provides detailed recommended actions and points to expert and peer reviewed best practice international, national and state resources and when best to apply them.
 
The documents reference both the QRA Regional Resilience Strategies and the QFES Emergency Risk Management Framework and guideline, showing where these approaches fit in the climate risk management cycle. 
 
The DES and LGAQ’s Q CRC program, QFES and the QRA, all have resilience and risk reduction programs aimed at benefitting local governments. These are the:
  • QRA’s Resilient Queensland Regional Resilience Strategies;
  • Q CRC’s grants to develop a local government area Climate Risk Management Strategy;
  • QFES’ QERMF support for whole of QDMA disaster risk management.
 
The parties are working collaboratively to ensure ongoing alignment of each program, to provide a single policy delivery to local government.  This is in recognition of local government time and resource constraints, and the benefits gained by streamlining efforts across multiple projects.  
 
The Resilient Queensland regional assessments utilise the Queensland Emergency Risk Management Framework, and the Climate Risk Management Framework for Queensland Local Governments provides guidance on integrating the outcomes from these processes across a council and its local government area.
 
This collaboration between key Queensland Government entities and the LGAQ is an example of the multidisciplinary collaborations needed to work through complex future challenges and the commitment of all organisations to assist local governments to build the foundations necessary for a sustainable Queensland.  Working across disciplines can present its own challenges as explored in Bronwyn Lo’s latest article on communicating climate change. 
 
As always, I’m available to have a chat or share an email exchange if you have any questions M: 0408 774 495 or e: Dorean_Erhart@lgaq.asn.au
 
* Coined by Michele Wucker, ‘white rhinos’ are highly probable but neglected threats that have an enormous impact.