Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Climate change related droughts set to increase

16 June 2005

Climate change related droughts set to increase

A National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) report, Changes in Drought Risk with Climate Change, released today states that drought risk is expected to increase in already drought prone regions.

The report used a range of climate change scenarios and projects a two to four fold increases in the incidence of severe drought across many eastern parts of New Zealand by the 2080s. Under a medium-high scenario, Marlborough could see what is considered a one in 20 year drought event today occurring every three to five years by the 2080s.

The study covers all of New Zealand, and finds possible increases in drought risk in inland and northern parts of Otago, eastern Canterbury and Marlborough, parts of the Wairarapa, Hawkes Bay, the Bay of Plenty, the Coromandel Peninsula and parts of Northland. It uses projections by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and internationally recognised climate models.

"The areas covered represent a large proportion of our prime agricultural land for cropping, dairy, sheep farming, viticulture and market gardening. The results are alarming," says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson. "In some areas, un-irrigated farming may become less viable in the driest regions, while other crop and fruit farmers would face increasing competition for irrigation water.”

"The 1997-99 Canterbury drought cost $230 million at the farm gate alone. The Australian drought of 2002/03 resulted in a 30 per cent reduction in agricultural output, a net effect of a 1.6 per cent drop in GDP and 70,000 jobs. This is the scale of the threat climate change can pose to New Zealand and the agriculture sector in particular.

“We have learnt many lessons from previous droughts. We know how to harvest and store water, and we can breed more efficient and drought resistant pastures. But some of the changes outlined in this report would be well outside what we are used to. But adapting farming and water management practices will only go some way to offset the increased risk of drought under climate change.

"Only if we do more both at home and internationally to cut emissions and so to lessen the extent and effects of climate change can we make sure to avoid the drought projections at the higher end of the scale.

"There will always be a lot of talk about the economic cost of implementing polices to attempt to limit climate change. On the basis of this report we now have a better idea of the cost to our economy and society of failing to act. It is a lot cheaper to take action now than to pay for the consequences later."

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>

 

Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>

ALSO:

Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>

ALSO:

Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election