Prioritizing Climatic Change Adaptation Investment at Local Government Levels

Supriya Mathew, Ann Henderson-Sellers, Ros Taplin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC (2007), “Climate change 2007: impacts, adaptation and vulnerability”, Working Group II contribution to the fourth assessment report of the intergovernmental panel on climate change, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK) describes warming of the climate system as “unequivocal”. In future, global warming will influence the frequency and severity of extreme events and in response, local councils around the world must take adaptive measures. In this paper we focus on an investment tool that relates adaptation strategies to climatic extremes for the local government jurisdiction, Ku-ring-gai Council, Australia. The impacts of climatic extremes cannot be solely viewed in terms of economic losses, but should also be considered with regard to their social and environmental implications. Bayesian inference, a method usually used in operational risk analysis is used to assess the economic cost and benefit of adaptation options. The use of this method helps in accounting for the uncertainties and absence of observations for extreme events. Economic modelling is done with selected discount rates considering the economic constraints of local councils. Social and environmental ranks for adaptation options are obtained by drawing ideas from the Delphi approach that elicits expert opinion and tries to obtain consensus in a number of iterative steps. Through this paper we introduce a method to obtain a prioritized set of adaptation options for local scale climate extreme events.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe economic, social and political elements of climate change
Place of PublicationHeidelberg
Number of pages19
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-642-14776-0
ISBN (Print)978-3-642-14775-3
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameClimate Change Management
ISSN (Print)1610-2002
ISSN (Electronic)1610-2010


  • Adaptation
  • Bayesian inference
  • Borda counts
  • Climate change
  • Delphi method
  • Local scale
  • Options
  • Prioritization
  • Ranking


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