The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group has reported back to Government with recommendations on what New Zealand needs to do to adapt to the effects of climate change.
The report’s 21 recommendations include developing a national adaptation action plan and a national climate change risk assessment, alongside reviewing existing legislation to better align with adaptation considerations. The group also called for funding mechanisms for climate change adaptation and work into reflecting the future costs of climate change adaptation within investment and planning decisions.
Co-chair of the working group Dr Judy Lawrence said the report came at a time “when New Zealand is waking up to the reality that climate change affects what we do, how we do it, and where we live” and that the recommendations challenged the status quo of reacting to climate events as they occurred.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw said New Zealand tended to have “point-in-time assessment of risks, rather than one where you are constantly assessing risks and adapting as you go”.
Local Government New Zealand President Dave Cull said councils were caught in a lose-lose scenario where they were left liable if they didn’t make new buyers and residents aware of the dangers, but vulnerable if those warnings affected property prices.
The report was covered by local media, including:
NZ Herald: How New Zealand should be getting ready for climate change
Stuff.co.nz: Expert panel critical of government’s climate change planning
Māori TV: New report finds how NZ must adapt to effects of Climate Change
Radio NZ: Govt needs to do more on climate change – report
NZ Herald: Funding split for climate change adaptation in question after release of working group report