Climate Change: Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters

Thursday 5 December 2013

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New Law School, Eastern Avenue, The University of Sydney.


a Sydney Law School Distinguished Speaker address.

To coincide with the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report, climate scientist Professor Chris Field from Stanford University will be delivering a Sydney Law School 2013 Distinguished Speaker address.

Historically, risks from climate-related events are concentrated in extreme events. In its 2012 Special Report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concluded that “A changing climate leads to changes in the frequency, intensity, spatial extent, duration, and timing of extreme weather and climate events, and can result in unprecedented extreme weather and climate events.”

Existing data indicate increases over the last 50 years in several kinds of climate extremes. Climate models project continuing changes in these extremes. There is a wide range of opportunities for reducing disaster risk and improving disaster response. The most effective options tend to produce both immediate benefits in sustainable development and long-term benefits in reduced vulnerability. Some options may require ransformation, including questioning assumptions and paradigms, and stimulating innovation. For the future, the recognition that climate change adaptation, disaster risk reduction, and sustainable development are all aspects of the same grand challenge can open a wide range of important opportunities.

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