Commonwealth Government

The Australian Government has a vital role in adaptation to climate change

The Commonwealth addresses adaptation issues through:

•building community resilience and establishing the right conditions for people to adapt;
•taking climate change into account in the management of Commonwealth assets and programs; 
•providing sound scientific information; and
•leading national reform.

Australia’s Commonwealth government is responsible for making decisions of national significance. Currently the Australian government has a climate change policy which has three pillars: 

•Mitigation – to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions
•Adaptation – to adapt to the climate change we cannot avoid
•Global solution – to help shape a collective international response. 

This policy is administered through the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency. 

Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency 

The Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency (DCCEE) has primary Commonwealth responsibility for climate related matters and other departments increasingly include climate adaptation in their programs. Through Commonwealth funding and with partner institutions, the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and eight Australian Research Networks are generating the information Australians need to manage climate change risks in critical areas such as water resources, health, emergency management and primary industries.

Productivity Commission Inquiry: Barriers to Effective Climate Change Adaptation

In 2011 the Australian Government's Productivity Commission set up an inquiry into the regulation and policy settings that would enable effective climate change adaptation. The inquiry reviews regulations and policies that may be barriers to effectively adapting to the impacts of climate change and aims to: 

•Examine the costs and benefits of the options to address those barriers where it is feasible to do so including a ‘no change’ (maintaining the status quo)

•Assess the role of markets (including insurance markets) and non-market mechanisms in facilitating adaptation, and appropriateness of government intervention.