3 Reasons to Love New Zealand’s Climate Adaptation Strategies

climate change adaptation nz

Time is ticking for our planet.  Countries around the world are still idling by when it comes to funding critical infrastructure that will support the climate adaptation movement to addressing climate change issues.

But not NZ because we are on the move!  

In the face of climate change, mitigation policies and strategies in asset management plans are pivotal for adapting to the changing climate and being more resilient to natural and man-made calamities and for responding to any adverse events. Yes, we are making great strides in this aspect.

Here are three reasons why we should love New Zealand’s climate adaptation strategy:

timaru botanic gardens
Timaru Botanic Gardens

1. Planting Trees

Not A Million, But a Billion. Yes, you read that right. As part of our country’s active stance towards climate change, NZ launched the One Billion Trees Program in 2017.

This program aims to increase rates of tree planting to reach at least one billion trees over the next decade through planting 100 million trees a year starting 2017.

Te Uru Rakau – Forestry New Zealand under the Ministry for Primary Industries takes the helm in implementing this project.

We have leaders who are vocal and committed to the country’s shifting to a low emissions economy. Climate change adaptation will always sit in the heart of what the government would want to do.

While some say that this is one ambitious project, many believe that it is pretty much achievable. How about thinking of trees thriving around us and seeing it as part of our public health infrastructure.

2. Zero carbon emissions

How on earth can a country have zero greenhouse gas emissions?

This is a question that we are striving to be answered through our pledge of zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Around 85% of the country’s power source already comes from renewable power, and we are advocating the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which will enable us to reach carbon neutrality in 31 years’ time.

Admittedly, the government mentioned that this is a difficult task since the country relies on agriculture and agricultural emissions cover half of its total emissions.

Another industry that can get affected is transport. The introduction of electric cars, bikes, and scooters, however, is changing the transport scene. Now, if we can do something about plane emissions.

climate change timaru
The effect of climate change can be through rising sea water levels and coastal erosion.

3. Climate change adaptation in asset management plans

Do you know that we have undertaken practical steps by having local councils factor in climate change in their asset management plans?

We admire our local authorities for creating climate-smart strategies, like having strategic risk assessment procedures, upgrading urban stormwater systems to cover large scale flooding, and integration of natural and man-made features to reduce pollution levels in vulnerable areas and to reduce climate change impacts.

Our country leads the world in terms of institutionalising the supporting and funding of asset management plans that respond to the interdependency of the environment and people and their sustainability.

Indeed, with our intensive mitigation policies and climate adaptation framework, New Zealand is showing the world that “difficult” is achievable if there exists the heart to serve and the will to do.

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