New Zealand’s first National Adaptation Plan, launched today, will ensure communities have the information and support they need to prepare for the impacts of climate change.
“Climate change is a global challenge, but its impacts are felt in our local communities and in our homes. Taking action to prepare for these impacts will make our communities safer, protect our environment, and ensure our towns and cities can continue to support people’s jobs and livelihoods,” Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw said.
“New Zealand was one of the first countries in the world to put into law the globally agreed target to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. The Emissions Reduction Plan we published in May – and backed with record investment of $2.9 billion - will make sure we are playing our part to achieve this goal.
“However, even with 1.5 degrees of warming, we are going see the impacts of climate change on our communities and the way we live our lives. It is absolutely crucial, therefore, that we do everything we can to adapt to these changes.
“We have already seen what can unfold. Severe weather events that had previously seemed unthinkable, even only a few years ago, are now happening at a pace and intensity we have never experienced before. And when they happen, everything from the roads we rely on, to our drains and water supplies, to getting the kids’ to school can be severely disrupted.
“Our Government has taken steps to support those communities affected, and will continue to do so. But rather than having to deal with these events as and when they happen, what people want are the tools to prepare, so that when climate events occur their lives can continue. The National Adaptation Plan will enable that through a combination of community-based initiatives and national-level policies and legislation.
“It will always be much more cost effective to invest early in climate resilience than to live with the costs of inaction. The National Adaptation Plan brings together more than 120 actions that together provide a blueprint for more resilient communities, where everything from our homes to the way we grow our food is protected from the worst effects of climate change.
“New Zealand has a history of solving challenges through innovation, resourcefulness and determination – and adapting to climate change is no different. The sooner we act, the more effective that action will be.
“In 2020, the Government published New Zealand’s first national climate change risk assessment to help identify where action needed to be taken. The National Adaptation Plan will outline the steps the Government will take over the next six years to respond to these risks.
“Today marks another milestone in the Government’s response to climate change. The National Adaptation Plan means that as well as working to reduce our climate pollution through the Emissions Reduction Plan, we will also be prepared for the unavoidable changes we know are coming,” James Shaw said.