Extreme heat poses significant risk to people, productivity, assets, services, infrastructure and quality of life. Preparing for an extreme heat event requires organisations and communities to work together to plan and respond to this challenge that puts people’s health, safety, wellbeing and organisational continuity at risk.

With the responsibility for safeguarding communities from extreme heat events falling to government authorities, industry and non-government organisations (NGOs), mitigation strategies need to be developed and implemented.

To help organisations identify extreme heat-related risks and take action, KPMG and Melbourne-based climate resilience startup ClimaSens have developed Navigating extreme heat in Australia, which explores:

  • key risks emerging from the rising number of extreme heat days across people, places and assets
  • the actions that governments, industry and NGOs must take to respond during an extreme heat event
  • long-term strategies and considerations to minimise the effects of more regular extreme heat events.

What is extreme heat?

The occurrence of three or more days in a row where both daytime and night time temperatures are unusually high is considered an extreme heat event.

Preparing for extreme heat

To keep populations safe, maintain key infrastructure and ensure organisational continuity, governments and businesses in Australia must adequately equip themselves, their systems and their processes.


Understanding the heat threat and its impact on your organisation is crucial to being able to address the challenges extreme heat presents for the years ahead. Managing heat risk will require scenario planning and mapping of assets on systemic, granular and localised bases. Access to quality data like the ClimaSens’ product HeatSens which provides global heat risk analysis down to a 30 metre resolution across all of Australia will be critical during the planning stage. Without data to pinpoint what and where the risks are, organisations are limited in their ability to deliver impactful outcomes.


Effectively preparing for heat risks involves comprehensive assessments of the human, commercial, financial and operational impacts. This involves using data to create a strategy that minimises the effects of extreme heat events on your people, operations, assets and infrastructure.


Invest and execute mitigation strategies that will support both short-term and long-term risks. Today’s solutions should be designed with future climate risks in mind. Organisations will need to create always-on adaptation strategies that manage both emergent and long-term risks, not only on a BAU basis but at all stages of projects.


Despite efforts to manage extreme heat events, these events are likely to become more intense and frequent in the coming years. All levels of government and private organisations will need to build holistic strategies to maximise physical welfare and minimise risk through periods of extreme heat.

The cost of extreme heat

Almost a quarter of Australia’s population has a high to hazardous risk from heat.

  1. Approximately 38% of Australia’s population is at a high to hazardous risk from the heat.1
  2. Heatwaves were responsible for 36,000 deaths in Australia between 2006 and 2017.1
  3. By 2030, 2% of total working hours worldwide will be lost every year as increased heat makes working more difficult.2
  4. More than 60% of deaths during heatwaves between 2001 and 2018 were in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia.3

How KPMG can help

Navigating extreme heat risk is only going to get more critical; delayed action will likely lead to increasing economic and societal costs. We can help you cut through the complexity, identify present and emerging risks, and most importantly, take action.

By combining our vast sector knowledge across heat resilience, local government, infrastructure and industry with the ClimaSens data platform, we can provide clients with insight and foresight in the space and help them plan, implement and adapt accordingly.

ClimaSens logo

ClimaSens is a climate intelligent startup, specialising in real-time decision support tools for urban heat adaptation and climate resilience.

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Our Navigating extreme heat in Australia report will help you plan, prepare, adapt and respond to the upcoming hottest summer yet.

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