The Climate Commission has released a report, The Critical Decade: Tasmanian impacts and opportunities, which warns that changes in Tasmania’s climate will have far-reaching implications for industries including agriculture, tourism, electricity generation, fisheries, as well as for biodiversity and human health.


The report sets out six key messages:


  • Tasmania has become drier, posing challenges for agriculture and Tasmania’s hydro-electric power supply.
  • Changes in Tasmania’s climate will have far-reaching implications for agriculture, tourism, electricity generation, fisheries, biodiversity and human health.
  • A hotter climate is a climate of more extremes. Tasmanians can expect to feel the impacts of
  • more intense rain events and associated flooding, as well as increased fire danger days.
  • Tasmania is particularly vulnerable to sea-level rise because most Tasmanians live close to the coast. For instance, in some places a 50 cm sea-level rise could result in a present 1-in-100 year event becoming an annual or more frequent event by the end of the century.
  • Tasmania’s internationally renowned biodiversity is at risk from a changing climate. For Instance, it is likely that hotter temperatures will reduce available habitat for unique Tasmanian plants and animals. The Tasmanian fisheries industry, worth $522 million per year, will also be at risk from rapidly increasing water temperatures and new invasive species.
  • This is the critical decade for action. The choices we make between now and 2020 will shape our future. To minimise climate change risks we must begin to decarbonise our economy and move to cleaner energy sources this decade. The longer we wait the more difficult and costly it will be. Tasmania is leading Australia in renewable energy generation and is well-placed to capitalise on the global trend towards clean energy.


The report accompanies the Commission’s two previous reports, The Critical Decade and The Critical Decade: Climate change and health, released in November 2011.


All reports can be downloaded here.