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Council looks to adapt to impacts of climate change

Council looks to adapt to impacts of climate change

The latest findings on the predicted effects of climate change will be presented to Hastings District Councillors at their District Development meeting on Tuesday.

A report has been prepared following the release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Working Group I and II Fifth Assessment Reports, with particular reference to how climate change may affect the Hastings District.

District Development Committee Chairperson Councillor Sandra Hazlehurst says “The report is a strong reminder of the need to take action on climate change. It is now clear that even with our best efforts globally, mitigation alone will not be enough. Hastings District Council has been focused on climate change for a number of years and has been procactive in identifying the challenges.”

“Council has been introducing mitigation measures, including a more compact, high amenity urban form, walking and cycleways, and energy and resource conservation programmes, for some time. It has also been planning for and introducing adaptation measures, and this report reinforces the importance of these,” said Councillor Hazlehurst.

Sandra Hazlehurst says” Climate change impacts were discussed in the 2012 Long Term Plan. The latest report does not significantly alter the local impact projections that were included in a report commissioned by the Council from Hawke's Bay based scientist Dr Gavin Kenny in 2011. However Council has noted that the Ministry for the Environment may now need to revise their sea level rise guidelines upwards.”

“Council is currently working on a cohesive approach to climate change adaptation which looks at how the district, both urban and rural, might respond to changes over time. In the meantime, we continue to work with the Regional Council on hazard scenario mapping, and our water strategy work includes an analysis of the systems vulnerability and resilience to climate change. The hazard work in particular is of importance as we look at erosion and inundation along our coastline and whether future development should be allowed close to the coast” Mrs Hazlehurst says.

“Council has also recently become more active on the Regional Council’s management of fresh water resources in the region. Water storage, together with efficient use and management is absolutely vital to the future of the primary production sector which impacts greatly on the future prosperity of the whole region.”

Sandra Hazlehurst says “The Climate Changes Fifth Assessment reports serve to reinforce the need to continue with and possibly even accelerate our mitigation and adaptation measures in the face of the predicted changes and I am pleased that this Council has included those implications within a number of its current work streams.”


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