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Tim Groser

30 March, 2014

Adaptation crucial in dealing with climate issues

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser welcomes a new Climate Change report from the Intergovernmental Panel that puts a focus on adapting to the impacts of climate change.

“The latest IPCC report is another useful contribution to climate change science that will help inform our climate policy. We can use the information in the report to help ensure that New Zealand’s economy, environment and society are resilient to the impacts of climate change,” says Mr Groser.

“The report backs the view that adaptation is an important part of dealing with climate change that cannot be ignored.

“While much of our focus is on getting international agreement on reducing emissions, some change can’t be avoided so we must be prepared to adapt.”

The report includes a chapter on Australia and New Zealand. It concludes that the key risks to New Zealand are sea-level rise, flooding and wildfires. It also says New Zealand could benefit from reduced energy demand due to warmer winters, and some areas could see increases in spring pasture growth.

New Zealand has a mix of legislation and policy measures in place that deal with different aspects of climate change adaptation. Local councils are best placed to assess the risk and plan for climate change in their specific areas and the Resource Management Act is a key tool along with central guidance such as the Coastal Policy Statement. Central government agencies also provide information, guidance and research funding to support adaptation of New Zealand business and infrastructure.

“New Zealand is committed to doing its fair share to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions,” says Mr Groser.

“We will meet our commitment to reduce emissions to five per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and we are investing heavily in international agricultural research on ways to grow more food without growing greenhouse gas emissions.”

Note: The final version of the report: Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability will be available from 31 March 2014 at http://www.ipcc.ch

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