The 2022 AdaptNSW forum, ‘2030 and Beyond: Adaptation for our future’, attracted over 329 attendees who heard from 85 presenters across 29 breakout, panel and keynote sessions.
The forum was held in partnership between The National Environmental Science Program’s (NESP) Climate Systems Hub and the NSW Government’s Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC). NESP were hosts for Day One, presenting climate adaptation research and practice from an Australia-wide perspective. Adaptation Knowledge, within OECC, were proud to host the second day of activities, presenting developments in adaptation management and practice.
Both days presented Australia’s most prominent climate change leaders and explored the challenges and opportunities of climate change adaptation in NSW and across Australia. Forum participants came from the government, industry, academia, consultants and not for profit sectors.
For Day One presentations, visit the National Environmental Science Program’s (NESP) Climate Systems Hub website.
Below are the presentations from Day Two which our speakers have kindly shared. Recordings for all sessions are also available to be enjoyed.
Listen to the morning plenary
Please note the chapter marking to assist in jumping between presentations
Catherine Kerr, Office of Energy and Climate Change (OECC), NSW Treasury
"The last time the AdaptNSW Forum was held, on Tuesday 12 November 2019, was the first time the Greater Sydney region had ever used the catastrophic fire danger rating. We all know what happened next in that story. The 2019/2020 black summer, with all the loss, devastation and heartbreak, that will be forever engrained in the Australian psyche.
And then just as we were mourning, coming to terms with what has happened and what our future with climate change might look like, we were hit with a different kind of existential crisis. COVID-19.
If we learned anything from covid, it’s that the systems that make up society – can be urgently, and rapidly transformed. But Covid also revealed the cracks, and fractured them further apart, only for the flood waters to pour in.
When we were putting together the program for today, we wanted to have honest conversations. We wanted to bring people together and collectively lean into the challenges that a changing climate is presenting for NSW.
But we also wanted to focus on the opportunities and solutions. To share both ideas and practical examples of on the ground adaptation that is being done right now.
For those of you who have worked in adaptation for a while. Our time has come. And for those of you who are new to the game, we need you. The challenge that lies before us can only be met, by working together to scale our responses and co-create a climate adapted future. Welcome to the 2022 AdaptNSW Forum"
The Hon. Matt Kean, NSW Treasurer and Minister for Energy
Opening address: NSW Climate Change Adaptation Strategy
Keynote: The NSW flooding disaster – What are the adaptation learnings from the Independent Flood Inquiry?
Professor Mary O’Kane AC presented the keynote on adaptation learnings from the Independent Bushfire and Flood Inquiries.
David Witherdin and Alex Platt from the Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation provided an in-depth panel discussion on the adaptation challenges and opportunities associated with delivery of their workplan.
Chair: Natsha Luschwitz, Executive Director, Premier and Cabinet
David Witherdin, Deputy Secretary, Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation
Alex Platt, Director Business Operations, Northern Rivers Reconstruction Corporation
Understanding climate change risk: transition; physical; liability
The different types of climate risk were discussed as this breakout took a deep dive to learn about climate change risks for the private and public sectors, and how to meet the growing demand to disclose and govern climate risk.
Chair: Nerida Buckley, Manager Climate Preparedness, OECC, NSW Treasury
- Zoe Whitton, Managing Director, Head of Impact, Pollination Group
- Sarah Barker, Partner and Head of Climate Risk Governance, MinterEllison
- Isabel Copeman, Resilience and Change Adaptation lead, Sydney Water
The adaptation challenge for local government
Discover the challenges local governments face for climate change adaptation. This breakout looked at the barriers, tools, and resources that will empower councils to act and help embed climate change in decision-making.
Chair & Panel Member: Tiffany Correggia, Senior Project Officer, OECC, NSW Treasury
The power of future climate scenarios
This session considered the connection of climate scenarios with socioeconomic futures. The session provided a discussion on how long-term planning can address uncertainty by looking at plausible divergent scenarios and how they may vary across the state.
Chair: Matt Riley, Director, Climate and Atmospheric Science, Department of Planning and Environment
Enabling Aboriginal wisdom in climate change planning
First Nations people discuss how they’re looking to the future to care for country and adapt to climate change. Learn how Aboriginal communities are leading the adaptation conversation, and how to incorporate Aboriginal wisdom into our understanding of country.
- Paris Norton, Scientist, Cultural Science, Department of Planning and Environment
- Jamie Tarrant, Worimi Conservation Lands Board
- Rhonda Ashby, Narran Lakes Joint Management Committee
Using NARCliM climate projections for risk assessments
Discover how NSW’s regional climate projections are guiding the state government’s decisions. NARCliM climate projections were discussed with examples of how the data is being used by state entities to assess and manage climate risk.
Chair: Christopher Weston, Senior Project Officer, OECC, NSW Treasury
Climate resilient housing: we have the solutions – now what?
Note on recording: due to a technical issue at the event, only the first 20 minutes of this session were captured. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Learn about the impacts of climate change on housing. Discover how we can introduce better bushfire and flood-proof housing designs. The discussions included innovative new builds and ways to remove the barriers to retrofitting current housing for climate adaptation and resilience.
Chair: Aaron Coutts-Smith, Manager Programs, OECC, NSW Treasury
Communicating the importance of climate action to your decision makers
Note on recording: due to a technical issue at the event, only the first 40 minutes of this session were captured. Sorry for any inconvenience.
Learn the importance of how to communicate climate action to your decision-makers. This breakout session provided practical communication tips and examples from leading industry experts to help your organisation drive change.
Chair: Catherine Kerr, Manager, Information Delivery, OECC, NSW Treasury
The game changer: living with compounding and cascading climate events
Discover the impacts of compounding and cascading events in NSW and how this changes how we think about and assess complex risk. This breakout session explored the latest thinking on threshold processes in climate systems and use the food crises and regional insecurity for real world context.
Chair: Melinda Hillery, Senior Project Officer, OECC, NSW Treasury
- Tayanah O'Donnell, Partner, Risk Advisory, Deloitte
- Andy Pitman, Director ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Extremes, UNSW
- Ian Cumming, Director, IRC Pty Ltd
Listen to the afternoon plenary
Please note the chapter marking to assist in jumping between presentations
Panel: Creating partnerships and directing capital for scaled responses
This session provided key insights as to how the private and public sector can collaborate to catalyse adaptation responses across NSW, within Australia and globally. Topics covered included public-private partnership, financing climate adaptation, climate-proofing future-assets, and climate change considerations in decision-making.
Chair: Katherine Palmer, Executive Director, NSW Treasury Panel members
- Geoff Summerhayes, Chair Senior Advisor, Pollination Group
- Emma Herd, Partner, Climate Change and Sustainability Services, EY
- Sharanjit Padam, Principal, Climate & ESG Risk, Finity Group
Panel: Discovering and embracing co-benefits and opportunities in climate change adaptation
Investigate the opportunities and co-benefits associated with rapid adaptation across 4 pillars: cultural, economic, environmental and social. This session highlights 4 adaptation initiatives and showcases the associated benefits and opportunities.
Chair: Tom Davies, Partnerships and Execution, Minderoo Foundation
Keynote: Thought leadership for 2030 and beyond. Co-creating our future with radical ideas
Matthew Riley provided practical tips and advice on how to create our new future with radical ideas.
Matthew Riley, Director, Climate and Atmospheric Science, Department of Planning and Environment
Event Wrap Up
Catherine Kerr, OECC, NSW Treasury
Sarah Boulter, Climate Adaptation Initiative Leader, NESP
Catherine Kerr and Sarah Boulter present the event wrap up