First National Climate Risk Assessment Report Released

Dept of Climate Change, Energy, Environment & Water

Australia’s water resources, critical infrastructure, health, and agriculture are among the priority areas at significant risk from climate change, the inaugural National Climate Risk Assessment finds.

Today the Albanese Government releases the first phase of the National Climate Risk Assessment and a consultation paper seeking input on how Australia can best prepare for and adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The first phase report identifies 56 nationally significant climate risks facing Australia. Eleven risks have been assessed as priority risks and will be examined in the second phase of work.

The priority risks cover the natural environment; primary industries and food; regional and remote communities; health and social support; infrastructure; defence and national security; communities and settlement; water security; supply chains; economy, trade and finance; and governance.

The government has also released a public consultation paper to inform the development of a National Adaptation Plan. The plan will establish a comprehensive framework for adapting to the nationally significant, physical climate risks identified in the National Climate Risk Assessment.

Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy Jenny McAllister said the conclusion of the first phase of the National Climate Risk Assessment represented a key milestone on the path to a comprehensive national adaptation response.

“Australians know that the climate has changed. They feel it on hotter days and experience it in extreme weather events which occur more frequently. This work will help us better prepare for the small and big challenges that climate change brings.

“While the former government refused to accept the science, the Albanese Government is acting to identify and manage risks from climate change.”

“This National Climate Risk Assessment is long overdue. It provides an evidence-based national picture of the emerging risks climate change poses to Australia’s community, assets and services,” Assistant Minister McAllister said.

“We will continue to do everything we can to reduce our emissions and limit the impact of climate change. However we must also take steps to protect Australia’s economy, society and natural environment from the changes scientists tell are already locked in.

“Adapting to risk is a task for all of us. We’re laying the foundation for all levels of government, businesses, communities and First Nations to better understand these risks and take action to build their resilience.”

The Albanese Government is already helping communities build resilience through the $1 billion for the Disaster Ready Fund, with Round One providing $200 million of Commonwealth investment for 187 projects in 2023-24.

The final stage of the two-phase risk assessment process will deliver a more detailed analysis of the 11 priority risks identified in this first phase report by the end of 2024, to inform a National Adaptation Plan.

The Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water is leading the National Climate Risk Assessment in partnership with experts from the Australian Climate Service.

/Public Release. View in full here.