The Queensland Climate Resilient Councils (Q CRC) program is working with Queensland local governments to deliver services and products that will strengthen staff and leadership team skills and capacity to plan for and respond to the challenges and opportunities arising from climate change.
The Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ) and the Department of Environment and Science (DES) established a partnership in 2016 to fund and implement the program. The program is funded to the end of June 2022.
WHY IS THIS PROGRAM NEEDED?
The best available science tells us that our climate is becoming less stable, and we are experiencing increasing changes in temperature, rainfall, sea level and extreme weather conditions affecting how we live and work. It makes sense to take appropriate action to better manage our climate risks. By adopting a risked based approach, we can adapt to such changes and still enjoy our lifestyles and stay safe.
There is a lot we can all do mitigate the impacts of global warming and local governments can lead and support their communities and local business to get on the front foot.
IMPORTANCE OF STRONG CLIMATE RISK GOVERNANCE
"All good leaders understand that strong leadership must be supported by strong governance "
Without the right governance arrangements in place, decision-making - particularly in diverse and complex organisations like councils - lose focus, and high priority goals and objectives suffer.
Good climate risk governance is a sound indicator for how resilient and adapted a council and its community is likely to be. Therefore, a cornerstone of the program is to assist councils to understand their governance strengths and weaknesses and how they can be improved.
MEASURING GOOD GOVERNANCE
A 2016 a statewide desktop assessment of councils’ climate risk governance arrangements found an urgent need to strengthen practice standards.
Ten indicators, covering core Queensland local government decision making documents were reviewed and scored according to a practice standard ranging from ‘No Data’ (score 0 = no governance document publicly available) through to ‘Advanced’ (score 50 = very high integration of climate risk). The best performing councils achieved ‘Basic Practice’ level for some indicators, well below the ‘Good Practice Benchmark’ of Intermediate (30).
A 2019 statewide desktop reassessment found an 89% improvement in governance practice standards since the commencement of the program.
Graph 1 compares statewide climate governance practice scores by Queensland council region from the 2016 and 2019 statewide assessment.
Graph 2 compares statewide desktop governance results from 2016 and 2019 for each core indicator. Councils scored highest in Emergency/Disaster Management, Green House Gas Emissions, and Land Use Planning. The weakest practice areas are incorporating climate risk into Public Risk Register, Asset Management, and Risk Management.
Graph 3 is evidence that the Q CRC program is helping councils to get climate risk ready faster. It compares 2019 statewide desktop governance results between participating and non-participating councils, showing that on average, councils that have undertaken detailed governance assessments are strengthening governance practice standards at twice the rate of non-participating councils.
Visit Program services for more about what the program is delivering for councils.