Cities and climate changeCities and climate change

Cities and climate change

CSIRO's Climate Change Adaptation Flagship is researching the vulnerability of cities and coasts to climate change in order to help us adapt to challenges ahead.

According to CSIRO:

Climate change threatens the cities and fast urbanising coasts where more than 90 per cent of Australia's population lives.

Storm surge and rising sea levels endanger the 711 000 addresses that lie within three kilometres of the coast and less than six metres above sea level.

Weather-related disasters are doing increasing damage to our water, energy, transport, buildings and telecommunications infrastructure. Bushfires rage at the urban fringe. Heat stress, vector borne and other climate related diseases pose health risks. 

These add to our cities' significant sustainability challenges, including urban sprawl, population growth, pollution and the loss of biodiversity.

Urban areas, urgent challenges

We need to understand and plan for the likely local impacts of climate change.

  • prepare for coastal inundation due to sea level rise and storm surge
  • prepare for more frequent or severe storms, cyclones, hail events and floods
  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions from homes, buildings and transport
  • reduce pressure on water supplies
  • manages heightened risk of bushfires at the urban fringe
  • understand climate-related health risks including heat stress and vector borne diseases.


CSIRO Fast Facts

90 per cent of Australia's population lives in cities or the urban coast

711 000 addresses lie within 3km of the coast and less than 6m above sea level