[24 May/The Country]

Better planning, resourcing and leadership have been called for by a top-level panel tasked with helping New Zealand prepare for a warmer, wetter and wilder future. The Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group released 21 major recommendations to adapt to the effects of a transformed atmosphere. Specific recommendations included amending the Local Government Act 2002 to specify climate change adaptation as a function of local government, and removing legal barriers so work could happen more easily. The group split adaptation into four categories; avoiding places exposed to climate change impacts, retreating from those places over time, accommodating changes, and protecting against them through hard engineering. The introduction of an independent Climate Change Commission whose first duties were to look at how the methane-heavy agriculture industry could be brought into the Emissions Trading Scheme was another recommendation. Victoria University Senior Researcher, Dr Judy Lawrence, noted even if the world stopped all greenhouse gas emissions today, the climate would still change for centuries.