Climate Change

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We recognise the continuing need for society and business to address the global sustainability challenges of the efficient use of natural and human capital, loss of biodiversity, poverty and population growth. Long-term climate change is slowly occurring within an existing environment of high natural climatic variability and it is this joint understanding that provides the key to effective decision making. 

GHD’s approach is to deliver integrated services in the key areas of hazards assessment, mitigation, adaptation, energy efficiency and trading and carbon offsets. Our teams work with organisations to identify and understand both the strategic risk and opportunity presented by possible long-term global impacts.

We understand the importance of taking early action and positioning organisations to manage and respond to potential future changes in climate. Our people, made up of engineers, applied scientists, risk professionals, modellers, economists and social strategists deliver comprehensive climate risk, energy and greenhouse gas management services to enable efficient and sustainable business practices.

Services

  • Climate variability, risk assessment and management
  • Infrastructure impacts, design and maintenance (flood, wind, wave, sea level rise, storm surge)
  • Environmental impacts
  • Insurance loss and risks
  • Adaptation strategies and planning for resilient coastal communities
  • Greenhouse gas emission measurement, reduction, verification and reporting (e.g. NGERS)
  • Consideration of emerging legislative frameworks
  • Investor-reporting and new market evaluation
  • Carbon solutions (footprinting, lifecycle, capture, storage, farming)
  • Energy efficiency, fuel switching and renewable energy

For further information, contact:

Stephen Thompson
Tel: +61 2 9239 7061
Email: Stephen Thompson

Carbon Disclosure Project

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Investors are seeking comprehensive detail to understand how emissions within organisations fluctuate, and provide investor confidence that there is a longer term strategic focus to climate risk management. Australia’s major banks and financial institutions participate in the international Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) scheme and review the short and long term risks of organisations in which they invest.

In Australia, more than 500 organisations have a mandatory reporting requirement under the NGER Act to report their Scope one and two emissions on an annual basis. Although important, this provides limited insight into a company’s risk management strategy to manage climate change.

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Coastal hazard adaptation strategy (CHAS) study

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GHD was commissioned to undertake this pilot project to demonstrate how Queensland’s coastal councils can better prepare coastal communities for the impacts of projected sea level rise, storm tide and beach erosion risks associated with long-term climate change. This comprehensive study incorporated hazard assessment, vulnerability mapping, quantitative impact analyses, scenario development, planning strategies, multi-criteria and benefit-cost analyses of a wide range of adaptation options between the present and the year 2100. Funding was provided by the Commonwealth Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency’s Coastal Adaptation Pathways Program. The Griffith University Centre for Coastal Management assisted GHD with some aspects of the project.

The results show that parts of the City of Townsville and surrounding coastal communities are under significant threat from coastal hazards over the 88 year study period (2012-2100) and that the optimum timing for some adaption measures will be within the next 30 years. This study represents the first step in identifying potential practical coastal adaptation strategies to respond to existing and future threats from coastal hazards in the region; these being categorized nominally as either Defend, Retreat or Accommodate.

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Australian Plantation Forestry Climate Change

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As part of the Australian Government’s Forest Industries Climate Change Research Fund program, GHD was engaged to examine how plantation fire risk profiles may change under climate change scenarios.

One of the key climate change risks for the plantation forest industry is increasing losses from fire, coupled with rising bushfire risk management costs.

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Fugitive Greenhouse Gas Emissions

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In 2005, fugitive emissions represented 5.5 percent of Australia’s emissions. GHD has developed in-house capability and methodologies to become a leading technical provider of fugitive emission management in Australia. We have a depth of knowledge in all areas of fugitive emissions including landfill, mine fugitive emissions, waste water fugitive emissions as well as fugitive emissions from oil and gas extraction. Our specific capability includes:

Emissions from wastewater - With Australia’s leading experts in wastewater emissions, GHD has successfully delivered greenhouse gas projects for most of Australia’s water authorities and many local councils. GHD offers project-specific solutions that align with new environmental regulations to minimise emissions from wastewater.

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Gulf of Carpentaria Storm Tide Study

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The Queensland and Northern Territory Governments jointly commissioned GHD to investigate the risk of extreme water levels generated by tropical cyclones and other severe weather events within the remote Gulf of Carpentaria of Northern Australia, for both present and future projected climate conditions.

There has long been concern about the possible increase in some natural hazards as a result of projected climate change, with tropical cyclones (hurricanes or typhoons) being one of the more dangerous. While many over-simplified interpretations of such effects have been made, it is possible to undertake rational investigations of these potential effects. This study, for example, provides open coast storm tide probability estimates (up to 10,000 yr return periods or 0.01% AEP) for over 2,500 km of coastline bordering Queensland and the Northern Territory. Hydrodynamic tide, storm surge and spectral wave modelling was undertaken considering the effects of both tropical cyclones and non-cyclonic monsoonal influences. This was completed for the present climate and also the 2050 and 2100 projected future changed storm climates and with projected increases in mean sea levels over time. High resolution hydrodynamic modelling and mapping was also prepared for a number of vulnerable low-lying communities.

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NGERs

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With one of Australia’s most experienced and accredited NGER audit teams, GHD can undertake all reporting, audit and verification requirements under the National Greenhouse Energy and Reporting (NGER) Scheme. More than 500 of Australia’s largest emitters have a mandatory reporting requirement under the NGER Act to report their Scope 1 and 2 emissions on an annual basis.

The NGER Scheme introduced in 2007 requires large energy users and greenhouse gas emitters to report on their annual greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption and production. The Scheme’s legislated objectives are to:

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Sea Level Rise Risk Assessment

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GHD was commissioned by Sutherland Shire Council to determine the potential impacts of a changing climate on coastal and catchment flooding as part of the development of Council’s Climate Change Adaptation Plan. The study enabled a more complete understanding of risks and quantified the possible extents to which projected sea-level rise, changes in storm event patterns and river flooding may impact on the Shire and its various assets over time.

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UK Rail Footprint Assessment

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Greenhouse gas (GHG) management is an essential part of any organisation’s sustainability and corporate responsibility agenda. GHD partnered with CenSA on railways greenhouse gas emissions measurement in the United Kingdom.

In December 2008, the United Kingdom (UK) made a upgraded its commitment to reduce its national carbon dioxide emissions, by at least 34 per cent by 2020 and 80 per cent by 2050, in comparison to 1990 levels. In anticipation of tough regulatory and other policy drivers, the rail sector sought to better understand its contribution to the national GHG footprint and the ways in which this can be reduced.

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Stephen Thompson

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Stephen heads the Sustainability and Climate Change team in Sydney and has more than 13 years' of experience in the energy, mining, utilities and infrastructure sectors delivering turnkey sustainable outcomes. He is an experienced energy and climate change professional and has core competency in energy efficiency and energy management, carbon management, climate change risk assessment on infrastructure assets as well as design and delivery of sustainable infrastructure. Stephen has worked extensively on efficiency in design, delivery of the Energy Efficiency Opportunity (EEO) program and is also an AGIC Infrastructure Sustainability (IS) accredited professional.

Position: Service Group Manager, New South Wales
Tel: +61 2 9239 7061

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Sue Trahair

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Sue is a chemical engineer with more than 25 years’ experience in environmental and greenhouse auditing and verification, solid waste management, odour control and hazardous waste treatment. She has a background in wastewater treatment (concept and detailed design of sewage treatment plants and industrial wastewater treatment plants). Sue has been actively involved in conducting environmental audits since 1990. She has conducted over 400 environmental, compliance and due diligence audits, over 100 greenhouse gas audits and been project manager/peer reviewer for an additional 320 audits. Sue has been accredited as a Lead Environmental Auditor from RABQSA for more than 14 years. She is approved as a Lead Auditor under the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme and Energy Savings Scheme, a Lead Verifier under the Department of Climate Change NGERS, Greenhouse Challenge Plus, Greenhouse Friendly and Generator Efficiency Standards programs.

Position: Principal Engineer and Lead Environmental Auditor
Tel: +61 2 9239 7435

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Andrew Roy

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Andrew is a senior environmental scientist and manager of GHD’s Natural Resource consulting team in Melbourne. Andrew has extensive experience in the fields of climate change and greenhouse gas abatement and management for a range of sectors both in Australia and internationally. He is a Lead Auditor under the NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme, and a Lead Auditor under the Commonwealth Government’s Greenhouse Challenge Plus program.

Position: Manager, Natural Resource Management - Victoria
Tel: +61 3 8687 8111

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Dr Jeff Foley

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Jeff manages the Water and Wastewater Process team in Perth. He has more than 10 years’ experience in the areas of wastewater treatment, odour control, greenhouse gas emissions and life cycle assessment. For the past three years, Jeff has acted as the principal technical advisor to the Water Services Association of Australia, in their negotiations with the Department of Climate Change on industry concerns regarding measurement and liability issues under the National Greenhouse and Energy Reporting System and the proposed emissions trading scheme. He is the principal author of the recently published Water Industry Guidelines for reporting under NGERS.

Position: Manager, Water and Wastewater Process Group - Western Australia
Tel: +61 8 6222 8577

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Wayne McFarland

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Wayne has an extensive background in environmental engineering with experience in research, planning, design and construction of industrial and municipal environmental and energy projects. His industrial experience includes three years as Environmental Engineering Manager for Agway Energy and has managed projects both across the US and the United Arab Emirates. With more than 35 years’ practical experience, he has directed or performed more than 700 engineering and environmental projects involving feasibility studies, facility design and construction projects, and compliance with energy, air quality, water quality, remediation, hazardous waste, OSHA, petroleum and chemical bulk storage, and emergency planning regulations.

Position: Environmental Engineer, Industrial Compliance Service - USA.
Tel: +1 315 679 5839

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Howard Lungley

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Howard is a management consultant with more than 13 years’ experience, with a focus in sustainability. Howard leads GHD’s carbon and sustainability services in the UK. He also has extensive experience of environmental, health & safety, risk, due diligence and corporate insolvency work, spanning many sectors and technical, strategic and financial disciplines.

Position:  Head of Carbon and Sustainability - UK
Tel: +44 20 436100

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Kristine Gaspar

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Kristine has 19 years’ experience in environmental review, greenhouse gas emissions analysis, resource agency permitting, and community surveys. She has led several community-wide assessments that followed the internationally recognized ICLEI Model. She has prepared National Environmental Policy Act and California Environmental Quality Act environmental analysis on a wide variety of projects from public infrastructure to private development projects. She is currently the Project Manager for the Lake Herman Quarry Expansion Environmental Impact Report and the Central Healdsburg Avenue Plan Environmental Impact Report. Kristine also assists clients in securing and complying with resource agency permits such as California Department of Fish & Game, US Army Corps of Engineers, State Water Quality Control Board, and Bay Conservation & Development Commission. 

Position: Senior Environmental Consultant - USA
Tel: +1 707 236 1539

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