Dunedin flooding highlights costs of Govt’s inaction on climate

Local governments throughout New Zealand will have to pick up the ongoing cost of National’s inaction on climate change, the Green Party said today.

“The flooding in Dunedin highlights that the National Government needs to stop being the problem and start being part of the solution on climate change,” Green Party local government spokesperson Eugenie Sage said.

“Since National came to power in 2008, New Zealand’s net emissions have increased by 13 percent; the scientific consensus is that increasing emissions will cause more extreme weather events.”

IPCC editor Professor Blair Fitzharris has said that, as global warming continues, Dunedin is likely to face more extreme rainfall events like those seen yesterday. Low lying densely populated areas, coastal communities, and major transport infrastructure including Dunedin airport will be particularly at risk from storm damage.

“The best way National can protect the people of Dunedin and other communities from the future effects of climate change is by taking a strong emissions reduction target to Paris later this year and acting as a global leader encouraging other countries to implement ambitious targets as well,” said Ms Sage.

“An emissions reduction target of 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 is the barest minimum needed to avoid runaway climate change.

“Dunedin City Council has asked the Government to act to reduce emissions now rather than pay for adapting to the greater impacts of climate change later.

“For example, Dunedin City Council estimates that engineering options to protect private property and infrastructure in high risk areas against a 0.3 metre rise in sea level will cost $10 million, while protection against a 1.6 metre rise in sea level will cost $150 million.

“Adaptation is the most expensive option. The Government should work to avoid climate change first and foremost.

“By not taking leadership on climate change and actually allowing New Zealand’s greenhouse emissions to increase, the National Government is leaving New Zealanders to pick up the costs of its inaction.

“Last month it was Wellington. Yesterday it was Dunedin. What region will suffer next from a lack of strong, cross-party leadership on the climate?”

Action

Join our call to stop funding fossil fuels!

Take Action

Action

Virtual Events

We have activists across Aotearoa / New Zealand who are working hard to build a brighter future for our kids and grandkids. This page lists upcomin...
Take Action

Action

Support our Climate Action Plan for bigger bolder climate action

We agree with all five of the School Strike for Climate's demands. Read more and sign the petition.
Take Action

Action

Show your support to end housing inequality

New Zealand’s housing market is becoming increasingly divided between people who own their own homes and those forced to rent for life...
Take Action

Latest Environment Announcements

Story

Minister welcomes report of nation’s household plastic rubbish, recycling practices

A new report on New Zealand’s plastic rubbish and recycling practices is being welcomed by the Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage.
Read More

Story

Flood of support for Top of the South catchment

Work to look after nature and restore freshwater quality in Te Hoiere/Pelorus River catchment is getting a significant boost, thanks to new Governm...
Read More

Policy

Healthy nature

Nature sustains us and is the basis of all life.  In Government the Greens have led the way in making sure our precious plants and animals are pr...
See More

Story

OIA reforms mean more attention to nature and cultural values

The Green Party welcome proposed changes to the Overseas Investment Act (OIA) that will see stronger controls on applications by overseas interests...
Read More

Story

California is burning, the US must not walk away from the Paris Agreement

Green Party Co-leader James Shaw has expressed his exasperation at the decision by the United States to officially withdraw from the Paris Agreemen...
Read More

Story

Minister announces fresh funding for community-led Hokianga environment project

A unique project enhancing the mana and wellbeing of the environment and the people of the Hokianga is to receive $300000 over three years from the...
Read More