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Climate Change and the Sector

World’s first national survey on climate change and the community sector

Climate change is all but certain. From drought and bushfire to greenhouse pollution and emissions trading schemes, what are the potential impacts of climate change? How will climate change affect the community sector and the services we provide? What risks does climate change pose to the sector and our clients? How do we cut through the tangle of climate change issues? What can we do? How can we prepare?

The climate change and the community welfare sector survey is the first ever national survey that seeks to discover how prepared the community welfare sector is for the inevitable impacts of climate change.

Did you know?

  • 50% of small and medium-sized SME organisations that suffer serious losses from an extreme weather event or disaster will never recover.
  • Between 2000 and 2007, the number of insurance claims against losses caused by extreme weather events rose from 12% of all claims to 31%.
  • Climate change is predicted to worsen the frequency and impacts of extreme weather events: from heatwaves to cyclones and from droughts to extreme precipitation.

The community welfare sector’s client base – people experiencing poverty and disadvantage – is the most vulnerable to climate change and extreme weather impacts of any group in Australia.

As climate change worsens the impacts of extreme weather events, more people will turn to our sector for all types of assistance – in times of crisis and beyond. Yet, we lack a comprehensive understanding of whether the sector itself is well prepared to cope with these impacts.

This is also a large gap in the knowledge across the globe. This information gap needs to be urgently addressed so that we can ensure our own resilience to negative climate change and extreme weather impacts, help to foster resilience within client groups and the community, and provide solutions to governments at all levels as they seek to develop national, local and regional responses to climate change and extreme weather events.

The full report has now been released:

'People at heightened risk because community groups overlooked in disaster management' - Media Release

DOWNLOAD REPORT: Adapting the community sector for climate extremes

For more information, please contact Emily Hamilton on emily@acoss.org.au or 02 9310 6204.

For media enquiries contact: Fernando de Freitas on 0419 626 155