Climate impacts– analysing infrastructure interconnectivity and flow-on effects for Australian cities

Manidis Roberts, KPMG and The Climate Institute (TCI) collaborated to undertake an exercise to credibly identify, quantify and cost, climate impacts on city infrastructure (Melbourne) as a result of extreme heat event. We modelled the impacts on infrastructure and their interdependencies under a specified climate event.

This provided a case study of the flow-on impacts of the damage to infrastructure from future climate events. We explored the interdependencies that play out between businesses and infrastructure owners and operators under future climatic conditions, such as an extreme heat, sea level rise or extreme rainfall events. The exercise identified nodes of interconnectivity and interdependency and where there are critical infrastructure vulnerabilities to future climatic events. It also analysed flow-on effects throughout the economy of any resulting disruption to services and performance of assets as a consequence of these events. There have been very few exercises of this nature carried out to date, and this now forms an important body of research for the TCI Resilience Flagship Project and more widely.

An analysis found businesses and organisations are largely unprepared for a heatwave event of magnitude. 2030 predictions doubling both frequency and severity of impacts would severely overstretch budgets, infrastructure capacity, coping ranges and system interactions and would be unmanageable. The potential impact on individual businesses in terms of effect on total revenue was calculated. The exercise also shows that the responsibility for planning and actions to reduce vulnerabilities lies with multiple parties and not just those initially impacted. Systems resilience rather than sector resilience is required.

Ms Nicki Hutlley, Chief Economist, KPMG, will present at the combined Liveable Cities and Sustainability Conferences in Melbourne in June 2013

Two Conferences! Three Days! One Location!

The Sustainability Conference: “Taking Care of Business: Sustainable Transformation 2” will be held in conjunction with the 6th Making Cities Liveable Conference, in a new era of collaboration, information sharing and professional networking. The conference is being held from the 17th – 19th June 2013 at Novotel Melbourne St Kilda.

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