Climate Change Risk Assessments for Infrastructure Projects
Transport and Main Roads has recently published guidance on undertaking climate change risk assessments on infrastructure projects. Climate change risk assessments are assessments of the consequence and likelihood of climate-related hazards and opportunities (direct, indirect and transitional) to an asset occurring during a nominated timeframe or an asset's design life. Climate projections are used to identify hazards, or changes in hazards, that may affect an asset or organisation, and to identify the consequence and likelihood of that hazard or opportunity occurring.
The department's Climate Change Risk Assessment guidance has been developed to complement and support climate change assessment requirements within Infrastructure Australia's Assessment Framework and the Department of State Development, Infrastructure, Local Government and Planning's Detailed Business Case Guide.
Technical guidance and methodology
- EP170 Climate Change Risk Assessment Methodology
- Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Assessment Framework for Infrastructure Projects
- Climate Change Risk Assessment template
- Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Assessment Report template
Do all infrastructure projects need to complete a climate change risk assessment?
No, currently only major projects (>$100M) are required to undertake a climate change risk assessment. Consideration of climate change is however also encouraged for infrastructure projects, other than major projects, to identify risk and opportunities for projected project benefits and deliver a resilient fit-for-purpose network.
Who should undertake the climate change risk assessment for an infrastructure project?
The climate change risk assessment should be led by the project's sustainability officer/advisor. The risk assessment should then be workshopped by the multi-disciplinary project team to ensure that a balanced perspective and approach to risk treatments is achieved.
What are transitional climate change risks?
Transition refers to shifts in the Queensland economy and societal trends in response to the way the global economy is changing, and will continue to change, in response to an increasingly carbon constrained environment. Transitional risk and opportunities for a transport project can include megatrends such as automation, electricification, disruptive technologies, and information and communications technologies (ICT) innovation. It can also be shifts in economy in response to climate changes and demographic changes.
Should climate change risks be included on project risk registers?
Yes, identified climate-related risks should be included on project risk registers. It is important however to recognise the difference in context of climate related risks to project risks. Timescales and consequences of climate-related hazards are beyond the timeframe of a project. As such, climate risks identified should be considered in relation to the impacts on future asset functionality and benefits realisation.
How does the Engineering Policy and the Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Assessment Framework fit together?
EP170 Climate Change Risk Assessment Methodology provides the overarching guidance on the department's minimum requirements for a climate change risk assessment.
Climate Change Risk and Adaptation Assessment Framework provides guidance on the typical risk statements for each climate-related hazard that should be assessed by projects as part of a climate change risk assessment. The Framework then provides guidances on what risk treatments Transport and Main Roads currently apply through design standards and what additional risk treatments could be typically considered by a project. The Framework is to provide guidance on the adaptation and resilience treatments, it does not represent limitations to what additional treatments could be identified by a project.
Templates have also been published that projects can use to document climate change risk assessments in accordance with EP170.
- Last updated 12 August 2022