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Climate Change Adaptation

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Australia faces significant environmental and economic impacts from climate change across a number of sectors, including water security, agriculture, coastal communities, and infrastructure. Some impacts are already observable and there is broad scientific consensus that further changes will occur.

Until recently, buildings and infrastructure were designed on the basis of historical weather records and assumptions that the climate would remain constant. With our climate changing, buildings and infrastructure now needs to be designed, constructed and operated to adapt with warmer, drier and stormier climatic conditions, with higher sea levels.

Australia is one of the top 20 polluting countries in the world and produces more carbon pollution per person than any other developed country in the world. Without a comprehensive plan, Australia's emissions are projected to increase by 24 per cent between 2000 and 2020. Recognising this, the Australian Government has committed to an unconditional carbon emissions reduction target of 5 per cent below 2000 levels by 2020.

This highlights the need for businesses to adapt to climate change as there will be effects on levels of rainfall, heat, wind and frequency of storms. Adapting to climate change means we will need to consider potential climate change risks as part of the design, construction, operation and disposal in particular projects. A “whole-of-life” perspective must be taken into account in assessing climate change.