Could green bonds be the answer to financing adaptation?

A study by researchers at Griffith University has found that investors are keen to buy green bonds designed specifically to provide funding for the costs of climate change adaptation but there are a range of barriers that currently prevent this type of financing.

The study, titled Mechanisms to finance climate change adaptation in Australia, was commissioned by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF). The research project was based on extensive interviews with representatives of institutional investors, bankers, insurers, consultants, advisors, legal experts and all levels of government. The Australian Coastal Councils Association was one of the organisations which participated in the study.

In an article published by The Conversation, Dr Zsuzsa Banhalmi-Zakar, the lead researcher of the study and Dr David Rissik, the General Manager of NCCARF, say the costs involved are so substantial that Government at all levels will not be able to pay for adaptation. Therefore, there is a need to think about how best to promote adaptation as an opportunity for the finance sector.

The research indicates that investors are looking for investment in bankable and scalable projects such as those that can help Australia adapt to climate change and mitigate its effects, but which also generate a return on investment.

As the research report points out, however, there are no agreed means of demonstrating when a city, infrastructure or coast has successfully adapted to climate change. So not only are there no standards around green bonds for adaptation, these type of bonds don’t yet exist in Australia.

Dr. Banhalmi-Zakar and Dr. Rissik note that the bonds issued by governments and corporations to raise capital for projects are different to bank loans. They are issued over a specific time and have a set face value when issued that is paid back upon maturation.

Most green bonds demonstrate green credentials through projects that reduce carbon emissions, which mitigates climate change. Green adaptation bonds would incorporate elements or projects that ‘climate-proof’ investments or increase resilience to extreme events caused by climate change.

The article in The Conversation observes that green bonds have performed extraordinarily well in the market. The global value of green bonds (at issue) has increased from US$11 billion in 2013 to more than US$36 billion in 2014 and almost US$56 billion in mid-2015.

Dr. Banhalmi and Dr. Rissik say one of the key problems in getting green adaption bonds financed is that the bulk of responsibility for adaptation falls on local governments, which typically do not have the means to negotiate directly with investors, let alone access private sector funds.

Yet the research findings provide some hope that private sector financing for adaptation can become a reality. As indicated in the final report of the research project:

‘The benefit of financing adaptation through bonds is that the private sector is already experienced with this mechanism and that bonds are particularly targeted at large-scale projects (or group of projects). A limitation of bonds is that they require sizeable projects (i.e. costs over $25 million) to be feasible, therefore they can only apply to adaptation projects that are scalable.’

The final research report is available at –

CoastAdapt on-line tool to manage climate risks now ‘live’

A beta version of CoastAdapt – an on-line tool designed to assist d
ecision-makers to manage risks associated with climate change – has been launched on a trial basis and is now ‘live’

The tool has been developed by the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) and incorporates input from 700 coastal decision-makers, practitioners and researchers who were consulted during the development phase.CA-logo on white

CoastAdapt has been designed to provide coastal councils, communities and other coastal stakeholders with the skills, information and tools to support effective decision-making. It provides information on all aspects of climate change including the science, impacts on coastal settlements, and legal implications of adaptation.

The beta version is now open for testing and review until November. NCCARF is inviting feedback and input from coastal councils and advises that this review period is an essential part of the development process.

CoastAdapt has been developed by NCCARF with funding from the Australian Government through the Department of the Environment and Energy.

One of the services provided by CoastAdapt is an ‘Ask The Expert’ forum where coastal planners, engineers and decision-makers can put questions relating to coastal adaptation to a panel of experts.

The Australian Coastal Councils Association was one of the organisations that provided input to NCCARF during the development process. We encourage you to go on-line to test CoastAdapt and provide your feedback to NCCARF, as indicated on the site.

The beta version of CoastAdapt is available at –


Sunshine Coast Council approves $9.28m levy for environment

The Sunshine Coast Council has approved a $9.28 million Environment Levy Program for 2016-17, an increase of $1.56 million on the previous year.

Environment Portfolio councillor, Jenny McKay, said the Environment Levy is a primary funding source which allows the council to invest in the protection, enhancement and sustainable use of the region’s biodiversity, waterways and coastal foreshores.

“To enable council to develop a progressive program for the new financial year the rate for the levy will increase by $10 to $70 per rate-able property – the first increase since the levy was introduced eight years ago,” she said.

“The overall levy increase of $1.56 million will help keep us on track to achieve our vision to become Australia’s most sustainable region – vibrant, green, diverse.

“The purchase of environmentally significant land will receive the highest funding increase – from $1.35 million to $2.67 million – enabling council to add to the 2,800 hectares of land already purchased for conservation purposes.”

Cr. McKay said $451,000 would be allocated towards river restoration projects in the Pumicestone, Maroochy and Mary River catchments. Funding for community grants and partnership programs would also be increased to $920,000.

“The levy will also go towards protecting Sunshine Coast beaches and foreshores – a big part of the local way of life – with an allocation of $775,000, in increase of $155,000 on last year,” she said.

The levy program is a primary funding source for the Council’s long-term strategic approach to management of the local biodiversity, waterways and coastal foreshores. More information on the program can be found on the Council’s website at –

Coast to Coast 2016

The Coast to Coast Conference for 2016 is being held in Melbourne from 29 August to 1 September. The venue is the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground, and speakers this year include national and international experts in marine and coastal planning, management and conservation such as Professor Tim Flannery, Dr TundPrinti Agardy and Professor Edward Blakely.

The conference, which is held each alternate year, attracts a broad range of delegates, including representatives of councils, universities, NRM organisations and government agencies.


More information at –

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference – Report and presentations


The report and presentations from the 2016 Australian Coastal Conference held at Rockingham WA from 4 to 6 May 2016 are now available.

The 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference, held at Rockingham (WA) from 4 to 6 May 2016 was convened by the Australian Coastal Councils Association to provide a focus on the challenges facing the nation’s coastal communities. The Conference was held at the Gary Holland Community Centre, 19 Kent St Rockingham.

Read or download the conference report here:

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Report



Wednesday 4 May

Coastal Issues – Case Studies

Introduction to the City of Rockingham

Andrew Hammond, CEO, City of Rockingham WA

Economic Development Case Study – City of Fremantle Strategy

Dr Brad Pettitt, Mayor, City of Fremantle WA

Coastal Hazard and Sea Level Rise – The Clock is Ticking

Oliver Moles, Director, Moyne Shire Council VIC

Augusta Boat Harbour

Dr Johan Louw, Director, Shire of Augusta Margaret River WA


Keynote Address

Coastal Populations – New Approaches to Regional Data

Lisa Conolly, Director: Regional, Family and Community Statistics, Australian Bureau of Statistics


Coastal Research Forum

Marine Projections for NRM Regions of Australia

Dr Kathleen McInnes, Coastal Dynamics Program

NCEDA, Desalination, Coastal Intakes and Outfalls

Professor Wendell Ela, National Centre of Excellence in Desalination, Murdoch University

Retreat, Existing Coastal Settlements and the Effects of Climate Change

John Watson, School of Law, University of South Australia


Coastal Management Case Studies

Towards Best Practice Council-based Coastal Planning

Phil Watson, NRM Planner, Clarence City Council TAS

Reconciliation in the Grasslands: Themeda Grass Headland EEC

Cr Danielle Brice, Eurobodalla Shire Council NSW

Coastal Adaptation in the Peron Naturaliste Region of WA: A five Year Journey

Joanne Ludbrook, Coordinator, Peron Naturaliste Partnership WA


Finance Options for Coastal Adaptation

Financing Coastal Adaptation

Ashley Robb, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

Problems and prospects of moving the Climate Adaptation Finance Agenda Forward

Dan Ware, Griffith Centre of Coastal Management


Thursday 5 May

Keynote Address

Water Management in the Coastal Zone

A/Prof James Pittock, Fenner School of Environment & Society, ANU


Coastal Research Forum

Introducing a Climate Risk Management Tool for Coastal Australia

Dr David Rissik, Deputy Director, NCCARF

Integrating coastal catchment research with community engagement

Dr Mat Vanderklift, Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, CSIRO


Economic Development Strategies in Coastal Regions

Quest Apartments Rockingham – Case Study

Tim Cross, National Sales Operations Manager, Quest Apartment Hotels

Mid west camping nodes

Nicole Nelson, Manager Tourism & Library Services, Shire of Irwin WA


Coastal Research Forum                              

Coastal dolphin research in Western Australia

Dr Alexander M Brown, Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University

Community impacts and attitudes towards a State Marine Park at Jurien Bay, WA

Asha McNeill, Earth & Environment & Oceans Institute, University of WA


Coastal Erosion Session

Sea level rise and implications for coastal management

Dr Andrew McCowan, Managing Director, Water Technology Pty Ltd

Accurate framework for assessing the effect of mitigation schemes for coastal erosion

Dr Kasper Kaergaard, Senior Engineer, DHI Australia

Planning for long-term coastal erosion and inundation in Western Australia

Ashley Robb, Curtin University Sustainability Policy Institute

Sunshine Coast regional sand sourcing study

Greg Fisk, BMT WBM Pty Ltd (Water and Environment)


Coastal Policy Workshop

Alan Stokes, Australian Coastal Councils Association


Friday 6 May

Keynote Address

Bay Plan 2070 for Port Phillip Bay

Michael Nolan, Chair – UN Global Compact Cities Programme


Coastal Planning

A review of planning approaches for coastal climate change

Professor Barbara Norman, Professor of Urban & Regional Planning, Australian National University


Renewable Energy

Community scale battery storage unit trial at Alkimos

Gus Riggs, Senior Policy Adviser, Synergy


Coastal Policy

2016 Campaign for the coast

Barry Sammels – Mayor, City of Rockingham, and Chair, Australian Coastal Councils Association


2016 Conference Coastal Policy and Communiqué          

Facilitated discussion to consider a proposed coastal policy platform and the Conference Communiqué


For inquiries call Tel: 03 9399 8558 Mob: 0418 254 132

or email:


Coastal councils call for national approach to managing Australian coastal zone

Representatives of Australian coastal councils and other coastal stakeholders attending the Australian Coastal Councils Conference from 4 to 6 May, 2016, issued a conference communiqué calling on the Australian Government to establish a national collaborative effort to secure a sustainable future for the Australian coastal zone.

The communiqué points out that the coast is one of Australia’s most highly valued social, economic and environmental assets. It is home to our state capitals and to more than 85% of our population.

While the coastal zone plays a pivotal role in the life of the nation, however, it is under increasing threat from a complex range of pressures.

Coastal councils and their communities call on the Australian Government to play a leadership role by adopting a set of policy initiatives based on the recommendations of the bi-partisan Australian Parliamentary Coastal inquiry.

The inquiry, conducted by the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Climate Change, Water, Environment and the Arts, was acknowledged as the most comprehensive examination of coastal pressures ever conducted in Australia.

Click here for the conference communiqué

2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference Communiqué


New study finds sea level rise could be much higher by 2100

Sea level rise could be much higher than previously projected by the end of this century, according to a new study published in the journal Nature.

The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and Penn State University, warns that sea level could increase by up to 2 metres by 2100 if melting from the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland are taken into account. Continue reading New study finds sea level rise could be much higher by 2100

2016 AUSTRALIAN COASTAL AWARDS – Nominations Now Open

The 2016 Australian Coastal Awards are to be announced at the 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference at Rockingham, Western Australia, on Thursday 5 May, 2016.  Continue reading 2016 AUSTRALIAN COASTAL AWARDS – Nominations Now Open

Call For Papers – 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference

The Organizing Committee of the 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference is inviting abstracts to be submitted for papers to be presented at the Conference, which is to be held from 4 to 6 May 2016 at Rockingham in Western Australia. Continue reading Call For Papers – 2016 Australian Coastal Councils Conference