27 September 2023

New DPE strategy to tackle changing climate

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Climate change disclosures made by NSW Government Agencies are to go public under a new adaptation strategy from the Department of Planning and Environment (DPE) and the Office of Energy and Climate Change in NSW Treasury.

The strategy responds to a recommendation made by the Auditor-General in her September Managing climate risks to assets and services report which found DPE and Treasury had not provided sufficient support to public sector Agencies to manage climate risks that could threaten their assets and services.

Launching the NSW Climate Change Adaption Strategy, DPE said the Strategy set out key decision-making principles and objectives for adaptation which informed four key priorities and a suite of actions.

“NSW is already experiencing the impacts of climate change,” DPE said.

“Most recently these have included the unprecedented cycle of heatwaves, droughts, bushfires, storms and floods,” it said.

“By adapting now, NSW will maximise opportunities, minimise harm and help secure the State’s ongoing prosperity and wellbeing.”

DPE said the Strategy would see the development of robust and trusted metrics and information on climate change risk.

The Department said progress under the Strategy would be monitored, reported and evaluated to ensure accountability and continuous improvement, including the publication of whole-of-Government climate change disclosures.

“The Strategy commits to release a State-wide climate change risk and opportunity assessment at least every five years, with the first one due to be released in 2023,” it said.

“The assessment will cover the whole of NSW and analyse risks and opportunities to the NSW economy, society, environment and ecosystems from the current and future effects of climate change.”

DPE said adaptation action plans would be published at least every five years, with the first due in 2023, to focus Government resources on the most important issues identified in the risk and opportunity assessments.

It said the Strategy would also see climate change adaptation embedded in Government decision-making through updating policy, defining roles and responsibilities for adaptation within Government, and enhancing and embedding climate change risk management into existing frameworks.

DPE’s 35-page Climate Change Adaption Strategy can be accessed at this PS News link.

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