Learning from regional climate analogues

John Kellett, David Ness, Cathryn Hamilton, Stephen Pullen and Anna Leditschke

This project explores the potential of learning from experience by the study of "analogue" settlements which are currently experiencing climate conditions similar to those predicted for the target cities. This project studied the analogue communities of Gladstone (QLD), Geraldton (WA), Whalla Port and Port Pirie (both SA), as they are currently experiencing the climates which are predicted for the "target" communities of Brisbane (QLD), Bunbury (WA) and Adelaide (SA) in the year 2050. The project was based on the underlying assumption that communities reflect their prevailing climate in the way that they organise their infrastructure, built form, and services; their policy content in development, infrastructure and health plans; and the management of ecosystem services. This study revealed that the topographic, socio-economic and political differences between targets and analogues may be just as important as climatic differences in driving policy effort in particular directions. Data collected from a policy document review and stakeholder interviews from the analogue locations was analysed to determine whether a) there was potential for learning from analogues by targets, and b) whether policies and policy differences were a function of climate. Overall, the analysis suggested that this approach does not clearly demonstrate a large range of easily discernible differences between target and analogue communities in their policy stances. State driven, top down policy effectively demanded similar approaches in both communities, particularly in the case of most land use planning policy and some health policy. There were some examples of differences in policy between analogue and target communities - differences were prominent in standards applied to the construction of houses and buildings, floodplain management, coastal policy, certain infrastructure services and health programs - but these were sporadic rather than systematic, and it was not possible on the strength of this analysis to determine whether these are climatically driven or not. Despite this, there may be benefit in sharing experiences of how policy is generated and applied. All the workshops in the three states confirmed a general desire on the part of participants to know more about practices elsewhere. A companion factsheet to this report can be found here

Resource Type: 
Case studies
Research report
South Australia
Western Australia
Legal issues
Local government

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