Latest reports suggest that New Zealand has released its first national plan for dealing with the impact of global warming, warning that some communities could be abandoned as climate change continues to trigger increased storms and flooding.
The country’s Climate Change minister, James Shaw who made this known on Wednesday, said that severe weather events that had previously seemed unthinkable were now happening at a pace and intensity we have never experienced before.
Making the announcement, Shaw said that one possibility is that some homes near the coast could eventually be abandoned because of rising sea levels, adding that a guiding principle of the 200-page report was to prepare for adverse events before they occur, rather than after.
“Lifting properties above flood-prone land or boosting flood defences are among dozens of potential options,” he was quoted as saying. “Property developments in high-risk areas would not be permitted”.
Shaw further stated that New Zealand had to prepare for a warmer future and that communities across the South Pacific country of about 5 million people had in the past year or so been hit by serious floods, droughts and storms.
“Over the course of the last year or so there have been New Zealanders all over the country who have experienced first-hand the increasing impact of climate change in their communities. So, people are now experiencing with increasing severity and increasing frequency the floods, the droughts and the storms that are associated with a changing climate,” he said.
The plan also noted that rising temperatures would have a significant impact on native species and the environment. The national climate strategy is the first in a series of adaptation plans that will be prepared every six years.
According to reports, the cost of adapting to global warming will be shared between property owners, New Zealand’s central and local governments, insurance companies and banks.
Story was adapted from VOA.