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Emily Mills
September 1, 2020
Ministry for the Environment

National Climate Change

National Climate Change Risk Assessment report identifies most significant climate-related risks in NZ

The Ministry for the Environment has recently released New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment. The report gives an overview of how New Zealand might be affected by climate change-related risks in the coming years, and highlights the 10 most significant risks in terms of risks to the natural environment, economy, built environment, governance and the people of New Zealand. The report also recognises the potential for disproportionate affects on whānau, hapū and iwi and recognises the potential for exacerbation of existing inequalities and the creation of new and additional inequalities due to differential distribution of climate change impacts.

The report allows decision makers to have the best-available evidence and assessments for planning New Zealand’s approach to climate change risks. These risk assessments will allow the Government to effectively prioritise action as they develop the national adaptation plan, which is required to be published within 2 years of the release of this report. Some of the major risks identified are the impacts of rising sea levels on coastal communities and ecosystems, risk of maladaptation in policies due a failure to account for uncertainty and change over long time frames, and risks to landfills, wastewater and stormwater due to extreme weather events.

Source: Ministry for the Environment. 2020. National Climate Change Risk Assessment for Aotearoa New Zealand: Main report – Arotakenga Tūraru mō te Huringa Āhuarangi o Āotearoa: Pūrongo whakatōpū. Wellington: Ministry for the Environment.