Dokument 3:6 (2021-2022) / Published Investigation into government authorities’ effort to adapt infrastructure and built-up areas to a changing climate

The investigation reveals that the Norwegian government authorities do not have the necessary overview of the risks of natural disasters in a future climate

In summary

  • Climate change increases the risk of natural hazards such as flooding, landslides, storm surges and surface runoff.
  • It is a national objective that society shall be prepared for and adapted to climate change.
  • Climate change adaptation is about acknowledging that the climate is changing, understanding the consequences and implementing measures to either prevent damage or to take advantage of the opportunities that the changes may entail. The objective of this investigation was to assess the work of the government authorities in adapting infrastructure and built-up areas to a changing climate.

Conclusions

  • The number of buildings within mapped hazard zones will increase as a result of climate change.
  • The Norwegian government authorities do not have the necessary overview of the risks of natural disasters in a future climate.
  • Existing built-up areas are not being adequately protected from the effects of future climate change.
  • The Ministry of Transport lacks an overview of the existing transport infrastructure's vulnerability to future climate change.
  • Key ministries do not have good enough information to be able to assess the status of climate change adaptation in Norway.
  • The reporting in the Ministry of Climate and Environment's annual budget proposal does not provide information on goal attainment or known challenges.
  • The work on climate change adaptation between national authorities is weakly coordinated.

Recommendations

The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Climate and Environment:

  • in cooperation with other appurtenant ministries, prepares a cross-sectoral plan which addresses the most important challenges in the work with climate change adaptation,
  • ensures that the reporting to the Storting on climate change adaptation provides information concerning the results that have been achieved and the most important challenges associated with the work on climate change adaptation.

The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Justice and Public Security, Ministry of Climate and Environment, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and Ministry of Petroleum and Energy:

  • assess how central government authorities can contribute to the municipalities assessing future climate to a greater extent in their plans and analyses of risk and vulnerability,
  • assess measures that can contribute to better mapping of natural hazards under both central government and municipal auspices, and that the mapping takes greater account of future climate change,
  • assess measures that may contribute to better protection of existing built-up areas in light of the impending climate change,
  • clarify, through guidance or other measures, what responsibility the municipalities have for protecting existing built-up areas.

The Office of the Auditor General recommends that the Ministry of Transport and the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Fisheries:

  • follow up that the transport enterprises improve the mapping of the existing infrastructure’s vulnerability to future climate change.
Kategorier: Environment Public administration