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Climate change adaptation workshop

11 October 2004

Hodgson opens New Zealand Australia climate change adaptation workshop

An international workshop on how to prepare for the effects of climate change will today be opened by Convenor, Ministerial Group on Climate Change, Pete Hodgson.

The Wellington workshop brings together representatives of eleven developed nations united in the common cause of acting now to prepare for the future effects of climate change.

"Action is being taken on climate change on two fronts; mitigation and adaptation. Mitigation measures seek to reduce emissions in an attempt to limit the extent to which the climate will change so minimising its effects in terms of temperature and sea level rises. Adaptation is about preparing to cope with the effects," says Pete Hodgson.

"Adaptation is about preparing for the future so that, for instance, our electricity infrastructure is not destroyed in storms or keeping sea level rise in mind when constructing coastal roads.

"Local councils will want to ensure houses aren't built on tomorrow's floodplains that may be inundated due to projected increases in rainfall, nor commission sewerage systems that risk becoming tidal before the end of their planned lives."

"This is about planning ahead properly now for the changes that are already starting to occur because of the unprecedented levels of carbon dioxide in the global atmosphere. Failure to act now would leave us with more disruption and higher costs in the future. Others advocate putting off action. This government will not risk New Zealand's future through failure to act."

ENDS

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