Understanding Climate Risk

Science, policy and decision-making

Industry Roundtable Context Paper

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The recent VCCCAR Annual Forum featured an industry roundtable breakfast, chaired by Anne Barker of City West Water, to discuss industry and adaptation to climate change. The roundtable was attended by a couple of dozen people from industry, public policy and research. The discussion was really interesting, with industry representatives talking about the opportunities they were pursuing, how targeted R&D could keep down product prices (e.g., in housing construction) and what kinds of supporting policy they would like to see. There are clearly lots of opportunities for collaboration between research and industry but they won’t be successful without close cooperation.

As part of the roundtable, an Industry Roundtable Context Paper (pdf download) was prepared by Celeste Young and myself. We tried to keep it simple and direct. It’s scope is also limited to Victoria, but we hope it also is relevant in a broader context. The main points are (not rocket science!):

  • Industry sectors across Victoria are already being impacted by weather events made more extreme by climate change. Adaptation can help increase industry’s resilience to further changes.
  • Adaptation implementation is not just relevant to managing environmental impacts but needs to be considered in a ‘whole of business’ context.
  • Collaborative working relationships between industry, the public sector and researchers are essential to avoid maladaptive responses.
  • Industry needs to identify the policy and research options that can best support future resilience in industry sectors.

One of the main avenues for adaptation in industry is through modifying and applying business innovation models. It is an opportunity for research in the social science of decision-making to be applied in the business context on the research side, and for industry to develop in-house processes that foster adaptation. Government policy has an enabling role on the one hand (support for R&D and boundary organizations that provide information and resources) and defining outcomes for sustainable adaptation on the other.

Downland the Adaptation and Industry Report. We are interested in hearing from anyone in industry or research with similar interests. I can be contact at roger.jones at  vu.edu.au

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Written by Roger Jones

August 15, 2012 at 8:33 am

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