Integrated regional vulnerability assessment of government services to climate change

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, 2014, 6 (3), pp. 272 - 295
Issue Date:
2014-01-01
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© Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – This paper aims to describe the conduct and outcomes of an integrated assessment (IA) of the vulnerability to climate change of government service provision at regional scale in New South Wales, Australia. The assessment was co-designed with regional public sector managers to address their needs for an improved understanding of regional vulnerabilities to climate change and variability. Design/methodology/approach – The study used IA of climate change impacts through a complex adaptive systems approach incorporating social learning and stakeholder-led research processes. Workshops were conducted with stakeholders from NSW government agencies, state-owned corporations and local governments representing the tourism, water, primary industries, human settlements, emergency management, human health, infrastructure and natural landscapes sectors. Participants used regional socioeconomic profiling and climate projections to consider the impacts on and the need to adapt community service provision to future climate. Findings – Many sectors are currently experiencing difficulty coping with changes in regional demographics and structural adjustment in the economy. Climate change will result in further impacts on already vulnerable systems in the forms of resource conflicts between expanded human settlements, the infrastructure that supports them and the environment (particularly for water); increased energy costs; and declining agricultural production and food security. Originality/value – This paper describes the application of meta-analysis in climate change policy research and frames climate change as a problem of environmental pollution and an issue of development and social equity.
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