Govt progress on climate change essential, risk assessment shows

The release of the National Climate Change Risk Assessment shows that the progress this Government has made to solve the climate crisis is essential to creating cleaner and safer communities across New Zealand.

"Because of this report, we can see clearer than ever that the action our Government is taking to reduce emissions is essential for making sure we pass on a safer planet to our children and grandchildren,” James Shaw said.

The Risk Assessment outlines for the first time the significant environmental, social and economic risks New Zealand faces as a consequence of climate change.

“Many of the risks we face can be traced back to the failure of previous governments to take any meaningful action to cut our emissions. However, whilst most New Zealanders already know that climate change is a problem, what we haven’t had until now is complete picture of exactly what the consequences of this previous inaction are,” James Shaw said.

The Risk Assessment is based on a high emissions, business-as-usual future, resulting in a projected 67cm sea level rise and 3 degrees Celsius temperature increase by 2090.

“Communities across New Zealand are already experiencing the effects of a changing climate, however that does not mean our goal of preserving a safe climate for the future is not within reach. Because it is. That’s why this Government has spent the last three years putting in place some of the world’s most ambitious climate change policies.

“Whether it’s passing zero carbon legislation, fixing the Emissions Trading Scheme, or supporting public institutions to switch to clean energy, we have been working to avoid worst impacts of climate change since the moment this Government formed. We know the window of opportunity is small and the task is large, but we have shown again and again that we are equal to the challenge ahead,” James Shaw said.

The risk assessment will now be used to develop a national adaptation plan over the next two years.

“Cutting our emissions is obviously a huge part of what we need to do to create clean, safe and healthy communities for ourselves, our loved ones and future generations. However, the climate is already changing and there will be some effects that we cannot avoid. So, in addition to driving the transition to a zero carbon New Zealand, this Government is also working to ensure our communities are made much more resilient to the unavoidable effects of global climate change,” James Shaw said.

About the Risk Assessment

The National Climate Change Risk Assessment identifies 43 risks that could have a major or extreme consequence to New Zealand.

Of these, there are 10 risks the reports says require urgent action in the next six years.

The 10 most significant risks identified are:

  • To coastal ecosystems due to sea level rise and extreme weather events
  • To indigenous ecosystems and species from the enhanced spread of invasive species
  • To social cohesion and community wellbeing from displacement
  • Of exacerbating existing social inequities and creating new ones due to unequal distribution of climate change impacts
  • To governments from economic costs associated with lost productivity, disaster relief expenditure and unfunded contingent liabilities.
  • To the financial system from instability due to extreme weather events and ongoing, gradual changes.
  • To portable water supplies, both availability and quality, due to changes in rainfall, temperatures, drought, extreme weather events and ongoing sea level rise.
  • To buildings due to extreme weather events, drought, increased fire weather and ongoing sea level rise.
  • Of maladaptation due to the application of practices, process and tools that do not account for uncertainty and change over long timeframes.
  • That climate change impacts will be exacerbated because current institutional arrangements are not fit for climate change adaptation.

The Government is required to respond with a National Adaptation Plan within two years of the publication of each climate change risk assessment.

Petition

Let’s ditch fossil fuels once and for all

When all our energy comes from the sun, the wind, and the flow of rivers, we won’t need to burn the fossil fuels that cause the climate crisis. Our...
SIGN ON

Petition

Support our Poverty Action Plan

Our Poverty Action Plan will completely change the way we support people in New Zealand so when people ask for help, they get it. It overhauls the ...
SIGN ON

Action

Local 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

It's time to pay our essential workers a dignified wage

Our essential workers are the heroes getting us through the COVID-19 crisis, yet for too long they’ve been...
Take Action

Latest Climate Change Announcements

2020

Clean energy

We know we need to go further and faster on climate action, which is why we’re proposing a plan to kick-start the transition to end the use of foss...
READ MORE

Climate change

The Green Party wants future generations to know we did everything we could to prevent the climate crisis. Unfortunately, previous governments lef...
Read More

Clean Energy Plan

The Green Party has always been clear that climate change needs to be tackled now, and we’ve done more in the last three years than the past 30 yea...
Read More

Story

Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA

The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will ...
Read More

Story

Greens welcome new ACC zero carbon plans, call for ruling out any future fossil fuel investment

The Green Party welcomes the ACC’s announcement to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050 but emphasises the need to go further, and faster to t...
Read More

Policy

Climate Change Policy

To stabilise the climate for future generations, emissions across the entire economy must be reduced immediately. Creating a just transition to a n...
See More