Australia: The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change - PressFrom - Australia
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AustraliaThe country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change

00:15  11 september  2019
00:15  11 september  2019 Source:   abc.net.au

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The study says the greatest obstacle is not money but a lack of “political leadership that shakes people out of their collective slumber”. A “revolution” is needed in how the dangers of global heating are understood and planned for, and solutions are funded.

America is woefully unprepared for climate change , and the government agencies charged with The committee that produced the report called for the creation of a national climate service, and for further research to determine which parts of the country would be most vulnerable to global warming.

The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change © AAP Image/James Ross Climate change protesters are seen outside of the Victorian State Parliament, Melbourne. The most powerful bureaucrats in Australia have been wargaming to prepare the country for "national-scale systemic climate risks" that could impact "the full spectrum of human activity" and are already "overwhelming" the country's ability to respond.

The ABC can reveal a group called "the Secretaries Group on Climate Risk" began meeting in March 2017.

It includes some of the country's most senior military figures as well as the heads of the federal government's biggest departments.

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America is woefully unprepared for climate change , and the government agencies charged with The committee that produced the report called for the creation of a national climate service, and for further research to determine which parts of the country would be most vulnerable to global warming.

The country appears to have grown richer because of climate change . Dr. Burke said this study quantified the “dual benefits” that rich countries , particularly industrialized countries in the cooler latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, had enjoyed — first being able to consume fossil fuels to grow

Before falling into dormancy, the group warned the government it was widely seen as trailing the private sector in addressing the impacts of climate change.

The group conducted a set of exercises called "Project Climate Ready", in which the government chiefs war-gamed future scenarios that it is expected could occur because of climate change.

The group has not been formally disbanded, but fell into dormancy. Despite it planning several meetings throughout 2018, it has not met since March 2018.

A meeting planned for July 2018 never occurred, and no meeting has been arranged since, documents obtained by the ABC under Freedom of Information laws show.

A spokesperson for the department of environment confirmed there are no plans for another meeting.

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Denial comes after emails to government workers reportedly said they are “not allowed to mention climate change in social media content at this time.” “The premier’ s office has never given direction to anyone in the government not to use the term climate change on social media,” Laryssa Waler

The Office of Climate Change (OCC) was established in June 2209 within the Office of the Climate is the long term condition of temperature and rainfall (precipitation) in a country or on the planet For example, we can say that the climate of the Arctic region is characterized by an average temperature

The spokesperson said the work of the Secretaries group was now being done by a more junior deputy-secretary-led group, called the "Disaster and Climate Resilience Reference Group".

That group, led by more junior officials, existed prior to the Secretaries Group's first meeting, and was described in the FOI documents as "supporting" and "reporting to" the Secretaries Group's work.

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The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change

Minutes and agendas for the group's meetings show the seriousness with which the federal bureaucracy treated the threat of climate change during a period when then-prime minister Malcolm Turnbull failed to win support in his own party for an emissions-reduction mechanism in the electricity sector.

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A government spokesman said : “We are committed to making sure the UK is prepared for the challenges of climate change . Theresa May must make climate change a top priority.” “The CCC’ s analysis shows red and yellow lights flashing all over the dashboard,” said Tom Viita, at Christian Aid.

Scientific consensus on climate change is the consensus of climate scientists regarding the degree to which global warming is occurring, its likely causes, and its probable consequences.

In establishing the group, the documents note that climate change "influences the full spectrum of human activity".

The minutes from the meetings noted extreme weather was already "overwhelming" the country's ability to respond to climatic events. As examples, they noted:

Project: Climate Ready

Project Climate Ready was conducted to better understand how to manage the increasing risk of catastrophic events.

It consisted of a series of scenarios jointly developed by the Department of Defence and the Department of Environment and Energy.

The details of the scenarios have been kept secret, with the government refusing to release them to the ABC under Freedom of Information laws.

But in commissioning them, the group said they "could include modelling a spring at 10 degrees above average" and "relate to concurrent extreme weather events, legal liability, national security or health".

They said the exercise would involve planning for the scenario over a period of "15 to 20 years".

The group noted Project Climate Ready should help the government "identify actions and prompt discussion on what decisions need to be taken to build resilience to climate change, by who, and when."

Legal risks

In addition to direct physical risks impacting health and national security, the group also considered legal risks that climate change could pose for the government.

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“My country has huge potential to reduce the use of fossil fuels, and because of the government ’ s inaction I approached the National Green India’ s Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and the Central Pollution Control Board have been asked to respond within two weeks.

“ Climate change isn’t the singular cause of catastrophe, but it has widened the expanse of social vulnerability to The aim of the panel was to outline ways the federal government could incorporate climate change in its disaster planning. “In health departments across the country , more than half

To prepare for the meetings, the heads of the departments were given legal advice by Noel Hutley SC outlining how company directors and trustees of superannuation funds who fail to consider climate risks could be sued, as well as news articles about ongoing climate change-related litigation.

"The intention was to understand what challenges could be presented by such events, in order to inform policy and program design and thinking," a spokesperson for the environment department said.

"Scenarios explored some of the possible impacts of extreme weather events in a number of sectors including health, infrastructure and energy."

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The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change
The country's top bureaucrats say Government appears unprepared for climate change

In a brief to the then-environment minister Josh Frydenberg in 2017, outlining what the group had found, the secretary of the department of environment said "there is a broad-based perception that the public sector is behind private-sector practice".

"Many private-sector companies, including resource companies … are well advanced in their management of climate risk," the brief said.

"Public sector agencies own and manage large assets, employ staff in locations and provide or support services that are at risk of extreme weather events, which are becoming greater because of climate change."

The ABC contacted the offices of environment minister Sussan Ley, as well as former environment minister and now Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

A spokesperson for the department of environment said the work of the Secretaries Group is being progressed by the deputy secretary group.

"For example, during 2018-19 the Group discussed development of the recently released National Disaster Risk Reduction Framework.

"The Group also supported development of Climate Compass, which is a framework for climate risk management for Commonwealth agencies developed by CSIRO and the Department of the Environment and Energy," the spokesperson said.

Important work

Professor Andy Pitman, head of the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, said wargaming future scenarios was exactly what the public service should be doing.

"Climate change is really, in the context of the government, simply a risk. And risks should always be thoroughly examined," Professor Pitman said.

"The consequences of climate change are here now and are not something to be thought of as just in the future. But obviously with the emissions trajectories as they are it's inevitable that risks will continue."

He said he was not particularly worried whether this group or some other group was carrying on that work.

"What would concern me is if the scenario-planning — the stress-testing — isn't being done in government."

Former deputy commissioner of the NSW Fire Brigade Ken Thompson is more concerned.

"It does worry me because there's a lot of work that needs to be done in this space," Mr Thompson said.

"The problem with Australia is that we're probably more prone to these disasters than many other countries but we're probably one of the least-prepared simply because we don't have this overarching government framework that's needed to help us plan," he said.

Dr Sarah Boulter, a senior researcher at the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility, said a high-level group needs to be looking at climate risk at a whole-of government level.

She said both the impacts of climate change — and potential adaptations — have consequences that cut across government departments.

"So if one department says, 'look, the only way that we can protect this part of the coast is to build a seawall' — that will have implications for biodiversity, for fisheries, for transport."

On the front lines of climate change in the world's northernmost town.
On the front lines of climate change in the world's northernmost town SVALBARD, Norway (Reuters) - Icebergs float like doomed islands past the small boat as it makes its way through a fjord filled with the slush of a melting glacier. Occasionally, as the warming waters dissolve the bottom of one of the icebergs, it becomes top-heavy and does a somersault, as if it were playing instead of dying. © Reuters/HANNAH MCKAY The Wider Image: A climate-change frontier in The Wahlenberg glacier above the fjord naturally calves, sheering off icebergs into the water.

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