Climate Change $9m funding commitment

Shadow Minister for Climate Change Greg Hunt (right) and Member for Moncrieff Steve Ciobo (left) announce a $9m funding commitment to the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility with NCCARF director Jean Palutikof and Griffith University Deputy Vice Chancellor Professor Ned Pankhurst

Griffith University has welcomed the announcement that a Coalition Government would provide renewed funding of $9 million to the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF).

 Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research) Professor Ned Pankhurst said the funding commitment over three years would enable NCCARF to maintain the momentum it has gained in providing serious research and policy advice around climate change adaptation. Shadow Minister for Climate Change Greg Hunt and the Member for Moncrieff, Steve Ciobo, made the announcement at Griffith’s Coast campus on Saturday morning.

 “NCCARF’s government funding formally ceased in June and since then its various partners, including Griffith University, have been seeking ways to keep the facility operational,” Professor Pankhurst said.

 “This funding renewal commitment from the Coalition is a serious boost as we believe this facility and its research findings to be crucial components of Australia’s climate change strategy.”

NCCARF is Australia’s peak national body on climate change adaptation and has produced more than 200 major publications on the topic in the last four years.

 It has repeatedly warned that increasing extreme weather events will continue to test Australia’s readiness for future climate change. Such impacts from climate change present substantial new risks for most sectors of business, across all levels of government, and in communities.

 “Much of NCCARF’s research focuses on adapting to the impacts of extreme events, which are likely to be a key outcome of climate change,” according to NCCARF director Jean Palutikof.  “Learning from extremes related to climate variability helps to develop approaches, decision support tools, and practices that will support the ability of Australian and global society to adapt to the effects of climate change,” she said.

Professor Pankhurst said it was gratifying to see the Coalition responding to the science of climate change and recognising the value of NCCARF in the funding commitment.

 “NCCARF commenced 5 years ago with bipartisan support from Federal political parties,” he said.

 “It would be excellent to see this situation restored with a new commitment from the Labor Party to resume funding of NCCARF, which would fill a critical current gap in their climate change policy.”

Mr Hunt said he was  pleased to announce that a Coalition Government would reinstate this program.

“It is very important in providing practical research and guidance on how we deal with the challenges of climate change,” Mr Hunt said.

“I know local government in particular is seeking guidance on how it can deal with long term planning issues. We need to develop systems that enable them to make decisions for now and in the future.”

Mr Ciobo said: “It was the Coalition which initially funded the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility and it’s the Coalition which will continue to provide funding.”