The Next Big Business Risk - Sea Level Rise

April 19 (Melbourne) and April 20 (Sydney)

Tom Kompier
First Secretary, Water and Climate, Dutch Government

From 2010 to 2013 Tom worked on the staff of the Dutch Delta Commissioner. This special high-level government official had been appointed in 2010 to help guard progress and coherence of the Netherlands National Delta Programme (www.deltacommissaris.nl).

The Delta Programme has two objectives: to keep the Netherlands safe from flooding (both from the sea and from rivers) and keep it supplied with fresh water of sufficient quality, now and towards the end of the century, taking climate change into account. The Programme operates on the basis of a special law and has a dedicated budget of around €1B/yr.

At first Tom acted as the Commissioner’s liaison officer with three of the sub programmes (coastal, Wadden Sea, and spatial adaptation) and later he worked on international contacts and innovation.

The Delta Programme focuses on increasing resilience over the long-term, avoidance of lock-in, incremental steps along adaptive pathways as essential aspects to deal with the inherent uncertainty of climate change impacts. It also introduced a water safety system based on an assessment of individuals’ risk, group risk and cost-benefits to calculate the investments needed in order to maintain appropriate safety levels for the country.

From 2013 onwards, Tom has been working with the Vietnamese Government on the application of similar concepts to the Vietnamese Mekong Delta.

Climate Alliance Chairman of the Board, Hendrik Karsten

John Church
Professor in the Climate Change Research Centre, University of NSW

John Church is a Professor in the Climate Change Research Centre, University of New South Wales.

He has published across a broad range of topics in oceanography. His area of expertise is the role of the ocean in climate, particularly anthropogenic climate change. He is an expert in estimating and understanding global and regional sea-level rise.

He is the author of over 150 refereed publications, over 100 other reports and co-edited three books. He was co-convening lead author for the Chapter on Sea Level in the IPCC Third and Fifth Assessment Reports. He was awarded the 2006 Roger Revelle Medal by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, a CSIRO Medal for Research Achievement in 2006, the 2007 Eureka Prize for Scientific Research, the 2008 AMOS R.H. Clarke Lecture and the AMOS Morton Medal in 2017.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science, the Australian Academy of Technological Sciences and Engineering and the American Meteorological Society.

Climate Alliance CEO and Executive Director, Ben Scheltus

Dr Nathan Quadros
Research Program Manager, CRCSI

Dr. Nathan Quadros completed his PhD at The University of Melbourne in 2008 investigating the use of 3D laser scanning (LiDAR) in the coastal zone.

For the next few years he managed the acquisition, delivery and quality assurance of large LiDAR projects for the Victorian Government, including the topographic and bathymetric acquisition for the Future Coasts team.

In 2011 Nathan moved to the Cooperative Research Centre for Spatial Information (CRCSI) where he now manages the Rapid Spatial Analytics research program. Nathan is an expert in LiDAR acquisition and its applications, having led research projects in quality assurance, feature extraction and web tool development.

In the past year Nathan has been involved in developing the publicly available Coastal Risk websites for Australia, Vanuatu and Tonga. These websites dynamically present maps on sea level rise using Google Earth Engine.

Recently, Nathan spoke at COP21 in Paris after winning a United Nations award for sea level rise planning in the Pacific Islands.

Climate Alliance Director, Harold Chua

Karl Sullivan
General Manager Policy, Risk and Disaster Planning Directorate, Insurance Council of Australia

As General Manager for the Policy, Risk and Disaster Planning Directorate, Karl is responsible for the facilitation of industry policy and initiatives regarding emerging risks as well as coordinating the industries response and partnership with government following a significant disaster event.

Karl brings with him significant experience in the disaster planning and risk management field. Prior to joining the Insurance Council, Karl was responsible for global Disaster Planning, Response and Mitigation for the Qantas Group of Companies. In conjunction with that role, Karl was active in international and domestic forums focused on a wide range of disaster events and emerging risks.

Prior to Qantas, Karl enjoyed a career in the Royal Australian Air Force, including several operational flying tours and appointments responsible for consequence management and disaster planning.

Climate Alliance Director, Arjun Surapaneni