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High cost of storm damage sign of things to come

High cost of storm damage sign of things to come

New figures showing storm damage cost New Zealand $77 million in the first half of the year are a reminder of what we’re up against with climate change, the Green Party said today.

According to the Insurance Council of New Zealand, insured storm damage for the first half of 2014 is almost $77 million.

The new figures come as more severe weather batters the upper North Island.

“The extremes of weather we’re seeing, and the high associated costs, fit with predictions. Climate change is not some distant threat. It is happening now in the form of extreme weather and it is costing New Zealand,” said Green Party climate change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“While one single weather event cannot be definitively linked to climate change, scientists are clear – we can expect more frequent and intense weather events.

“Rising temperatures mean when storms come, they are more severe. The risk is going up all the time.

“Extreme weather should be treated as a wake-up call. The consequences of inaction are too high. We need to act now.

“Yet the National Government remains asleep at the wheel on climate change, implementing neither strong mitigation policies, nor appropriate measures for adaptation.

“New Zealand’s emissions continue to climb, and there is no national strategy to deal with the increasing threat of extreme weather.”

The Green Party recently made climate change an election issue with its Climate Tax Cut plan.

“We are the only political party with a win-win plan to tackle climate change while leaving households better off,” said Dr Graham.

For more information on the Green Party’s Climate Tax Cut, go to www.greens.org.nz/climateplan

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