Understanding adaptive capacity: A tool for economic transition planning



Understanding Adaptive Capacity - A coal loader in Queensland

Understanding adaptive capacity is a discussion paper from the Centre for Policy Development’s Sustainable Economy Program, by Mara Hammerle and Toby Phillips.

It follows previous reports on climate transition risks and challenges for local economies, and forms part of a larger future report examining climate transition responses in regional economies in Australia.

Seven dimensions of economic resilience

The paper describes seven dimensions of economic resilience and proposes metrics to gauge each of these. Dimensions include

  • Economic diversity
  • Innovation
  • Geographic connectedness
  • Financial capital
  • Workforce skills
  • Social capital
  • Access to public services

It also provides a guide for applying the framework to decision-making processes in transition planning, and possibilities for its extension.

Download Understanding Adaptive Capacity report

What matters for successful outcomes for these communities is their underlying levels of adaptive capacity, which will determine how resilient they will be to external economic forces.

There is therefore value in identifying the specific factors that contribute to the adaptive capacity of Australia’s fossil-fuel-exposed communities.

About the authors