Policy Guidance Brief:Managing heatwave impacts under climate change
Extreme heat events, or heatwaves, have killed more Australians in the past 200 years than any other climate hazard, and have caused major economic disruptions. Climate change will increase the exposure of Australian communities, buildings and infrastructure to longer and more intense heatwaves. This factsheet deals with the management of heatwaves, or ‘extreme heat events’, and their impacts on human health and infrastructure under climate change. It first describes the future projections of extreme climate events in Australia, and then discusses the current and future effects, impacts and issues associated with them. It also considers the adaptation actions that could be considered under four headings, depending on the goals of those actions: (i) to reduce exposure, (ii) to reduce vulnerability, (iii) to enhance adaptive capacity and, (iv) to improve responses during and after a heatwave. The interconnected nature of the problem is highlighted, demanding integrated and holistic adaptation responses. Policy actions are described under four different realms: personal/community, workplace, buildings and infrastructure; and the public realm.
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