The Australian Government has developed a new National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy – positioning Australia to better anticipate, manage and adapt to our changing climate.
Read more about the National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy.
Adapting to climate change is adjusting to current or expected climate change and its effects. Adaptation helps individuals, communities, organisations and natural systems to manage the impacts of climate change. It involves taking practical actions to adjust to the changing climate which protect and build our resilience.
Australia is already experiencing the effects of a changing climate. These changes will continue for decades to come, even with the most ambitious global emissions reductions.
We coordinate national action to adapt to the impacts of climate change.
Australia’s adaptation action is underpinned by science. We actively support climate science programs and ensure information is applied in resilience building and adaptation initiatives.
And we are supporting our region to increase its adaptive capacity and build resilience.
National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy
The new National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy provides a path towards a climate resilient Australia. The strategy sets out what the Australian Government will do to support efforts across all levels of government, businesses and the community, to better anticipate, manage and adapt to the impacts of climate change.
The new strategy has been informed by engagement across all levels of government, key stakeholders in industry and academia, and community groups.
We will continue to work with stakeholders across Australia to implement the new strategy to strengthen partnerships, support investment and deliver local results.
The new strategy will continue to guide the ambitious action we are already taking and inform future priorities.
Managing climate risks within Australian Government decision-making
Australian Government agencies are integrating disaster and climate resilience in their policies, programs and asset management.
With world-leading climate science as the foundation, the Australian Government is ensuring Australians have the information they need to reduce risks and seize opportunities. The new Australian Climate Service is a $210 million investment to bring together Australia’s world-leading expertise and information to help local communities build resilience to climate change.
We are also rolling out Climate Compass to provide a framework for Australian public servants to manage the risks from the changing climate to policies, programs and asset management. It includes step by step instructions, guidance and information.
Roles and responsibilities
We all have a role to play in adapting to our changing climate. Governments, businesses, communities and households each have different but complementary roles.
The Roles and Responsibilities for Climate Change Adaptation in Australia were agreed by the then Council of Australian Governments’ (COAG’s) Select Council on Climate Change in 2012.
These roles and responsibilities for different levels of government are broadly set out below.
- Provide leadership on national adaptation reform.
- Manage Australian Government assets and programs.
- Provides national science and information.
- Maintains a strong, flexible economy and a well-targeted social safety net.
State and territory governments
- Deliver adaptation responses in their areas of policy and regulation. This includes service delivery and infrastructure. For example, emergency services, health system, the natural environment, planning and transport.
- Provide regionally appropriate information.
- Ensure local circumstances are considered in the overall adaptation response.
- Ensure local communities are directly involved in efforts to facilitate effective change.
- Play a central role in land-use planning and managing local roads.
- Inform other levels of government about the on-the-ground needs of local and regional communities.
National coordination mechanisms
Environment Ministers Meeting
The Environment Ministers Meeting (EMM) is an intergovernmental forum:
- where national environmental issues are progressed
- to discuss strategic issues and agree cross-government actions to improve Australia’s environment.
- Climate adaptation and resilience is one of the 3 standing items on the agenda.
Interjurisdictional Climate Change Adaptation Working Group
We chair the Interjurisdictional Climate Change Adaptation Working Group (AWG). The AWG is comprised of representatives from each Australian jurisdiction and the Australian Local Government Association.
Australian Government Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group
We co-chair the Australian Government Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group with the National Recovery and Resilience Agency. The group comprises senior officials from 22 agencies across the Australian Government. It considers risks and challenges arising from climate change and natural disasters.
Established in 2015, the group drives a whole-of-government approach to disaster and climate resilience, risk reduction and adaptation.
- leads implementing a whole-of-government approach to disaster and climate resilience.
- integrates and embeds disaster and climate considerations into planning, policies, programs, asset management and risk management frameworks of Australian Government agencies.
- provides strategic guidance on implementation of whole-of-government initiatives on disaster and climate resilience.
State and territory climate action
Our national approach to climate adaptation action is informed and guided by the work of the states and territories. All state and territory governments have developed climate change adaptation strategies.
- NSW Climate Change Policy Framework
- Victoria's Climate Change Strategy
- Queensland Climate Action Plan that includes the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy 2017-2030
- South Australian Government Climate Change Action Plan 2021-2025
- Western Australian Climate Policy
- Tasmania's Climate Change Action Plan 2017-2021
- Northern Territory Climate Change Response: Towards 2050
- ACT Climate Change Strategy 2019-25
- National Climate Resilience and Adaptation Strategy
- Climate change science
- Our climate services and tools
- Nature-based solutions for climate
- Our environment climate change initiatives
- Our agricultural climate change initiatives
- Our oceans climate change initiatives
- Emissions reduction
- International climate adaptation
- Our publications and resources