Pre-Conference Workshop 


Translating climate science into policy: responses and strategies 

Tuesday 12 May 2020, 9am – 5pm 
In order to effectively adapt to the impact of climate change, policymakers need to be able to make informed decisions guided by timely and accurate data. This workshop will explore how climate change is affecting extreme weather patterns, developing appropriate policy responses to climate change and what lessons can be learnt from climate change adaptation strategies currently being executed at the state and local government levels. 

Workshop Facilitator 
Nick Wood is the Director of the consultancy Climate Policy Research and a strong advocate of the view that Australian businesses need to build the capacity to identify, measure and manage the financial risks associated with climate change. Climate Policy Research works with clients from government, academia, IT and banking who understand that they can use the detailed data emerging from the current state of the art climate models to improve their risk management.  
Nick’s background is one of high-level academic research combined with highly successful business development in the area of environmental and climate policy. After completing a Doctorate in Nuclear Reactor Technology and Post-Doctoral Research in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Leeds, Nick joined a major UK utility as the first Manager and business developer of its new air pollution compliance consultancy.
Over 4 years Nick successfully grew the business unit from a start up to become one of the market leaders in the provision of technical services for environmental compliance. Nick joined the Sydney based Sustainability team of a big four global accountancy firm in 2008 and initially worked on assisting Australian business prepare for the (eventual) introduction of the carbon price mechanism in 2012. In September 2014 Nick founded Climate Policy Research. 
9.00-10.30 Session 1: The Science of Climate Change
  • Climate modelling and average-climate projections 
  • Projected changes in extreme weather and climate events 
10.30-11.00 Morning Tea 
11.00-12.30 Session 2: From Science to Policy: Developing Responses to Climate Change 
  • Investing in sophisticated advance warning systems to better track extreme weather events and improve preparedness and recovery efforts 
  • Enhancing the resilience of systems and local communities to the effects of climate change 
12.30-1.30 Networking Lunch 

1.30-3.00 Session 3: Best-in-class approaches to climate change adaptation 
  • Melbourne City Council Climate Adaptation Strategy  
  • The South Australian Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan 
3.00-3.30 Afternoon Tea 
3.30-5.00 Session 4: Scenario Planning for Climate Adaptation 
Workshop delegates will undertake a scenario planning session in order to consider how their organisation could be impacted by the various potential developments with respect to climate change. 
5.00 Workshop Ends 





  • Coordinating a national response to rebuilding communities affected by bushfires with the establishment of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency 
  • Supporting affected LGAs in recovery efforts through the distribution of $1 million base payments to local councils 
  • Addressing the devastating ecological impact of bushfires on the Australian environment 



  • Increasing frequency, duration and severity of natural hazards – how the 2019-20 bushfire season compares to past fire disasters 
  • Challenges to assets and infrastructure 
  • Risks to Australian agriculture and food production posed by extreme events  




  • Local recovery efforts and boosting resilience of communities in the wake of the 2019-20 bushfires 
  • Ensuring that local communities know what to do during disasters 
  • Role of local government in post-disaster rebuilding and recovery efforts


  • Partnership between SAFECOM and the Department of Premier and Cabinet to apply a user-centred design process 
  • Consulting with over 500 participants from across South Australia to understand what disaster resilience means to them 
  • Creating the right environment for communities to adopt significant roles in leading and building resilience


  • Understanding factors leading to bushfires in Australia 
  • What future bushfire conditions will look like with a changing climate and mitigation measures that need to be put in place 
  • Adapting Australia’s fire response capabilities for more dangerous bushfire conditions caused by climate change 


  • How weather windows affect the timing of when hazard reduction burning can be conducted 
  • Increasing the availability of funds and personnel to properly carry out hazard reduction works 
  • Hazard reduction burning as part of a suite of measures to prepare for future bushfire seasons 



  • How increasing climate risks are impacting disaster mitigation efforts: lessons from the 2019-20 bushfire season 
  • Leveraging local knowledge and expertise to plan effectively for climate-related natural disasters 
  • Securing the necessary funding to ensure our emergency services agencies are equipped to tackle disasters 



  • Developing an emergency management plan which outlines clear roles and responsibilities that staff have been trained to carry out 
  • Ensuring your organisation continues to operate during times of disaster 
  • Getting your organisation back on its feet after the emergency has passed 



  • Engaging local businesses in disaster preparedness efforts 
  • How corporate expertise can be leveraged to improve community resilience, response and recovery 
  • Driving innovations in disaster management technology to accelerate response and recovery


  • Adopting a community-based approach to disaster mitigation 
  • Risk management planning with respect to land use planning, engineering, building services, building codes and standards 
  • How engineering and urban planning can help in adapting to natural hazards and climate change


  • Offering eligible homeowners up to $11, 250 in co-funding to finance home improvements 
  • Making low and no-interest loans available to assist Queensland homeowners 
  • How building upgrades can help reduce insurance premiums







  • Addressing the rising economic cost of natural disasters – from $18 billion today to over $39 billion by 2050 
  • Reallocating the 97% of funding allocated to disaster recovery for a greater emphasis on disaster mitigation 
  • Economic benefits of investing in resilient infrastructure before disaster strikes – reducing the $17 billion needed to directly replace critical infrastructure between 2015 and 2050 due to the impact of natural disasters


  • Determining what information is required by stakeholders to inform key decision making in different climate scenarios 
  • Engaging, educating and informing key stakeholders on designing for, planning and mitigation of climate change impacts 
  • Ensuring that the insurance industry’s actions are integrated with best efforts to act on climate change, with a particular focus on the built environment and banking sectors




  • Collaborating with the emergency management sector to review their warning information 
  • Ensuring critical advice is heard and acted upon during times of emergency 
  • Actively testing the wording and structure of warning messages to understand how they are understood and translate into direct action 


  • Disseminating critical real-time information via social media to people in affected areas – lessons from the 2019-20 bushfire season 
  • Leveraging social media to build a real-time picture of people needing assistance 
  • Using social media to mobilise emergency workers and volunteers and coordinate relief efforts 



  • Recovery from significant events such as North and Far North Queensland Monsoon Trough: State Recovery Plan 2019-2021  
  • Learning from disaster events in Queensland 
  • Implementation of the Queensland Strategy for Disaster Resilience 




  • Retrofitting and maintenance of older and more vulnerable homes 
  • Strategies to engage and promote retrofit investment by homeowners 
  • Encouraging retrofitting and maintenance through insurance and government initiatives 



  • Identifying weaknesses in our built environment 
  • Designing our built environment to align with local needs 
  • Harnessing technological innovation to replace old infrastructure


  • Victoria’s emergency management reform journey 
  • How IGEM fulfils its statutory obligations and supports Victoria’s emergency management sector to learn, improve, and deliver positive outcomes for all Victorians 
  • Does IGEM actually make a difference? 



  • Working with the education industry to increase the profile and inclusion of emergency services volunteering in curricula 
  • Improving retention rates and the quality of volunteer experiences 
  • Engaging volunteers in feedback and consultation to ensure that their needs and concerns are being addressed