Developing an Excel spread sheet tool for local governments to prioritise investment in climate adaptation (NCCARF Adaptation Grant Scheme), Business and Economics, Macquarie University
Project: Developing an Excel spread sheet tool for local governments to prioritise investment in climate adaptation (NCCARF Adaptation Grant Scheme)
Brief: Adaptation decision-making is a challenging task due to the complex web of uncertainties surrounding the future. Currently, decision-makers such as e.g. local governments depend on extensive research consultations to decide on adaptation investments. This renders them ignorant about the hidden uncertainties and assumptions behind the research results. It is dangerous to take decisions based on average values which do not reflect worst-case scenarios. It is also challenging for researchers to communicate this to end-users especially when extreme events or catastrophic risks have to be analysed and possible options need to be evaluated. The proposed project aims to educate stakeholders by creating a tool which will demonstrate the influence of various parameters on the investments they make. Users will be able to enter details regarding extreme events and the tool will visually show relevant charts and graphs that can enhance optimal decisions. Policy makers will benefit from understanding that adaptation decisions have to be made under uncertainty and moreover they will be familiarised with a set of tools that can deal with this uncertainty. The tool has particular use to local governments, but can also be used to understand the impact of extreme events on sectors such as health, agriculture and the insurance industry.
The research team, including researchers from Macquarie University's Centre for Financial Risk, has developed a new Excel based decision-support tool for investments into climate change adaptation. The project was funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and included Dr. Supriya Mathew and Professor Stefan Trueck from Macquarie University's Centre for Financial Risk as well as Professor Ann Henderson-Sellers (Macquarie University) and Professor Ros Taplyn (University of New South Wales). The conducted work is expected to help local governments to prioritise investment in climate adaptation. The tool as well as a user manual handbook for the tool have now been made available for download (see below).