INDEPENDENT NEWS

Climate Change – Mitigating The Risks And Costs

Published: Fri 10 May 2024 05:40 AM
Hon Simon Watts
Minister of Climate Change
New Zealand’s ability to cope with climate change will be strengthened as part of the Government’s focus to build resilience as we rebuild the economy, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says.
“An enduring and long-term approach is needed to provide New Zealanders and the economy with certainty as the climate continues to change,” Mr Watts says.
A Notice of Motion to move the Finance and Expenditure Committee to conduct an inquiry on climate adaptation has been agreed with support from political parties across the House.
“Here in New Zealand, we are feeling the impacts of climate change and we are seeing more frequent and severe damaging natural events such as flooding, storms and landslips,” Mr Watts says.
“Natural disasters are costly, and we need to take steps to safeguard against loss and ensure the things we value most – our communities, jobs, industries and homes – are prepared to withstand the impacts of climate change.”
The Notice of Motion will empower the Finance and Expenditure Committee to conduct an inquiry into climate adaptation. The purpose of the inquiry is to develop and recommend guiding objectives and principles for the design of a climate adaptation framework for New Zealand.
“The adaptation framework will set out the Government’s approach to sharing the costs of preparing New Zealand for the impacts of climate change.
“It will help communities and businesses understand what investment is planned in their area, for example whether the council will build flood protection infrastructure, and what support will be available to help with recovery from events like slips or floods. It will also seek to improve the way we share information, so everyone can make informed decisions about how they manage risks.
“The framework will guide decisions before a severe weather event happens, and responses afterwards, meaning we won’t have to start from scratch every time.
“To find solutions which will be long lasting, we need broad agreement. That’s why I am delighted to have support from across the House for this Motion, and a commitment to work together on this issue.”
The approximately 150 public submissions made to the Environment Committee’s previous inquiry into climate adaptation will be considered in the new inquiry.
As part of the inquiry, the Finance and Expenditure Committee is likely to call for further public submissions.
Any legislation required to support the framework is expected to be introduced in early 2025.

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