Not prepared for the effects of climate change

Don’t worry, be happy?

If the Dunedin climate changes to have more of what we have had over the last month many won’t complain. But they will of we get more storms, floods, coastal erosion and droughts.

A report from the Ministry for the Environment has warned that New Zealand lacks a coordinated plan to deal with future climate change and sea level rise.

Belinda Storey, the Principal Investigator, Deep South National Science Challenge says Council’s have to deal with it.

She says it means either increasing rates to fund it or look to central government for support, but there has been no commitment from Government.

“Adapting to sea level rise is going to be expensive and at the moment, that responsibility is primarily falling on local government. They simply don’t have the resources to adapt to it fully.

“The few options that are available to them are to increase rates across the board to help fund adaptations that happens at the coast, or to look to central government for support.”

On the report (from Minister for the Environment, James Shaw): Climate Change Risks and Adaptation

New reports released today show a clearer picture of the scale and urgency we face over climate change, along with guidance on managing and adapting to the results of global warming, Climate Change Minister James Shaw says.

“It’s important that New Zealanders have a clear picture of the potential impacts of climate change so that communities, local and central government, business and other sectors of our economy can make well-informed decisions about how we build resilience and adapt,” says Mr Shaw.

The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group’s Stocktake report shows the size of the task to build New Zealand’s resilience to rising sea levels, a warmer climate, extreme weather and other impacts of climate change. The Working Group’s panel of experts includes representatives from central and local government, finance and insurance sectors, science and communities.

The Stocktake report shows that New Zealand has significant information about what is happening to our climate and the impacts of change. However, not all of this information is in forms that support decision-making and there are some key gaps in our knowledge.

The report also notes that New Zealand is in the early stages of planning and currently lacks a coordinated plan on how to adapt to climate change. While some sectors and areas are proactive, in general we react to events rather than preparing for them. The Coastal Hazards and Climate Change guidance, also released today, supports this work by providing clear guidance to councils and communities on how to manage and adapt to the increased coastal hazard risks posed by climate change and sea level rise.

The Guidance, produced by NIWA, will encourage good decision-making so that New Zealand faces fewer risks from climate change in coastal areas, in a way that is fair to residents and consistent around the country. Further work on adaptation is underway.

The Government’s Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group is working on a report which will make recommendations for how New Zealand can effectively adapt to the impacts of climate change. The report is due in March next year.

From the Ministry – Adapting to climate change in New Zealand: Stocktake report from the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group

This report is the first report prepared by the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group. It summarises the expected impacts of climate change on New Zealand over the medium and long term, takes stock of existing work on adaptation, and identifies gaps in New Zealand’s current approach.

In taking stock of the work already underway the Group identified three characteristics that need to be in place for effective adaptation to develop in New Zealand:

  • being informed about how our climate is changing and what this means for us
  • being organised, with a common goal, a planned approach, the right tools, and clear roles and responsibilities
  • taking dynamic action to proactively reduce exposure to the social, cultural, environmental and economic consequences of climate change.

The report concludes that New Zealand is in the early stages of planning for climate change with many positive initial steps being taken across a number of sectors – it is in the informed phase, with some areas having advanced to the organised phase.

The information in the report is current as at May 2017, when it was first delivered to the Minister for Climate Change Issues.

The report provides the evidence for the Group’s second report which will report on options for adapting to climate change and recommend how New Zealand can build resilience to the effects of climate change.

The report (PDF): Adapting to Climate Change in New Zealand

33 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 17, 2017

    When our Govt institutions can’t even build a decent bridge over the Waitangi river the notion they can do or say anything useful about climate change is laughable.

    • Corky

       /  December 17, 2017

      As if Mother Nature gives a toss at what we say or do.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  December 17, 2017

        As if we can trash the planet without consequences.

        • Corky

           /  December 17, 2017

          I think most realise we can’t trash the planet as we’ve historically done. However, trashing the planet, or not, won’t change Mother Natures capricious moods.

        • Zedd

           /  December 17, 2017

          Corky talking aload of B-S, as usual !!

          yeah right.. I hear some actually believe the Earth is just a vast pile of resources to be plundered.. without any consequence from all the pollution we are producing (NOT)

          They call her; ‘Mother Earth/Papatuanuku’ for a reason; She is a whole living, breathing interdependent ecosystem, that is finely balanced.. some greedy sods, just dont get it !
          If you poison the planet, (with nonbiodegradable plastics & petrochemical waste) we are all DOOMED.. maybe not in my lifetime, but certainly in the next one or two generations, Im guessing 😦

          “Here endeth the lesson !” sez I

          • Corky

             /  December 17, 2017

            ”Corky talking aload of B-S, as usual !!”

            Please tell me what is unreasonable, incorrect or just plain bs.

            Corky:

            ”I think most realise we can’t trash the planet as we’ve historically done. However, trashing the planet, or not, won’t change Mother Natures capricious moods.”

            • Zedd

               /  December 17, 2017

              I was responding to:

              ‘Corky / December 17, 2017

              As if Mother Nature gives a toss at what we say or do.’

              I stand corrected on this other stuff.. now 🙂

            • Corky

               /  December 17, 2017

              You are back on my Xmas respect list. What do you want me to eat on your behalf…. a small fruit mince pie, or a slice of Pav?

            • Zedd

               /  December 17, 2017

              @Corky

              just have a ‘merry time’.. “scuse me while I light my…” 😀

          • Corky

             /  December 17, 2017

            Will do. And with that, I’m on holiday, Merry Xmas everybody.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  December 17, 2017

              You too, Corky. Don’t run over Gezza on your travels. He’ll be the one shouting te reo at you as he washes your window,

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  December 17, 2017

          The planet doesn’t care. Everything we do has consequences and evolution deals with them. I’m enjoying the warmer weather but not so silly as to believe it won’t get cold sooner or later. Climate has long cycles and short cycles and all kinds of flips and blips in between. If the tide doesn’t get you the tsunami or the cyclone might. Forecasters will be wrong more often than they’re right. Long term forecasts will certainly be as wrong as they have always been.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  December 17, 2017

            We are so often told that it will be raining in two days…but the two days keep moving. Jam yesterday, jam tomorrow, never jam today. We have had about 1/10 of December’s usual rainfall. There wasn’t enough in the gauge to measure last time I looked.

            Don’t faint, Corky, but I agree that Mother Nature can be very capricious and probably doesn’t give a damn about what we do to try to change this.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  December 17, 2017

              Mother Earth and Mother Nature; I don’t see them as the same entity.

              But when I put a cut piece of geranium in water and it grows little whiskers that are really tiny roots, I am amazed by what old Mother Nature can do.

          • robertguyton

             /  December 17, 2017

            Alan – is that you ? ^^^

  2. Zedd

     /  December 17, 2017

    I watched the DCC meeting on Ch39 (Dn TV) yesterday, they were discussing building containment walls along St. Clair & maybe down to St. Kilda, (at the high tide mark) to try & prevent the loss of sand from rising & receding tides. A speaker said that this has actually been known about for about 80 years, but has become much more evident in the last 20-30 years.

    BUT If China, India etc. continue burning mountains of coal, for power stations & USA is talking about withdrawing from the Paris agreement…..
    “Its all just a Chinese conspiracy theory’ apparently; Thus spake Mr T :/

    Its all too little, too late.. 😦

    Yes PG I remember Sth Dn flood (nearly reached my front door, about 1 foot above the ground) that looked more like ‘Lake Dn’ in 2015 (once in 100 year flood, reportedly ??) & now I hear these sort of events may occur much more often ?

    There is talk.. that the whole Sth Dn area could be uninhabitable within 10-20 years ? watch this space

    • alloytoo

       /  December 17, 2017

      Apparently China is a about to embark on a program to replace their coal power stations with Nuclear over the next couple of decades. This will also enable the adoption of BEVs

      Only country I’ve heard of planning to make a tangible sensible reduction to CO2 emissions.

      • Zedd

         /  December 17, 2017

        Yes Ive heard that there are many ‘plans’ (all good) to start addressing this.. but methinks the effects of C-C are happening NOW, not in a couple of decades.

        Some think; that by then, every piece of land about 5-6 meters, above current high tide zones, could be under water.. inc. many large coastal areas of Aotearoa/NZ ?

        • alloytoo

           /  December 17, 2017

          If climate change predictions have proven anything, it’s that their extreme predictions are wrong.

    • How much of the South Dunedin flood of a few years ago was down to unprecedented waterfall and how much to poorly maintained drainage works: Blocked drains and pipes, poorly maintained pumping stations…. oh and how much infill housing had occurred in the area without corresponding storm water drain infrastructure increases?

      Do you have answers to these questions Zedd? I seem to recall their was infrastructure issues in South D that played a large role in the flooding experienced….

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 17, 2017

    Speaking of forecasts, when computers can’t even forecast how long the update they are doing will take, how the hell do you expect them to forecast the climate? Bloody lunacy in spades.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  December 17, 2017

      I remember when downloads took hours…

      how can a download take ’59 seconds….46 seconds….38 seconds….54 seconds…23 seconds…41 seconds…..13 seconds….2 seconds…14 seconds….DONE.’

  4. Zedd

     /  December 17, 2017

    In response to reading this & other stuff.. I just wrote a blog post:

    https://etdwnz.wordpress.com/2017/12/17/hemp-can-save-the-world/

    maybe of interest ?? 🙂

  5. robertguyton

     /  December 17, 2017

    But Paula was gunna fix it! John said, chose her personally (Bullsh*tters annoy the hell out of me).

  6. George

     /  December 17, 2017

    Not matter what politicians and scientists claim its weather nothing more nothing less