Victoria’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan 2017-2020 articulates the approach that the Victorian Government is taking to support business and community deal with the challenges of climate change.  The Adaptation Plan emphasises integration of climate change considerations into mainstream sector plans and planning processes – so that sectors are resilient to climate events.

To help inform sector-based adaptation planning efforts, NCEconomics with support from Alluvium was engaged to undertake a vulnerability assessment of Victoria’s economy to heatwave. This was a major piece of work which extended to consider impacts on infrastructure, primary production, natural resources and urban communities.

This study adapted the Damage and Loss Assessment (DaLA) methodology to assess heatwave risk in Victoria in economic terms for ten different sectors and across eight regional areas. This included the agriculture, construction, health (including community health), electricity, transport, and the environment sectors. A feature of the project was to investigate the barriers that are constraining effective management of heatwave risks by different stakeholder groups – including barriers that extend across multiple sectors and/or across different levels of Government. The project also undertook detailed climate scenario modelling to help understand how risks may change in the future under the effects of climate change and the uncertainties associated with these changes.

The findings of the assessment were used to identify and prioritise areas for focused and targeted policy effort to adapt to changing heatwave hazards in Victoria. The report further demonstrated the critical importance of inter-governmental collaboration to effectively address key heatwave risks.