Adaptation Issues in New Zealand's Climate Change Policy

37 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2019 Last revised: 18 Sep 2019

See all articles by Billie Haddleton

Billie Haddleton

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni

Date Written: September 3, 2018

Abstract

New Zealand is already experiencing the effects of a warming climate and needs to adapt its built, social and ecological systems to reduce vulnerability to climate impacts. Currently, there is no coordinated approach to climate change adaptation in New Zealand. There is no overarching policy or legislation provided by central government to guide adaptation action by other sectors. Amongst other issues, it is unclear how climate change adaptation will be funded. This paper evaluates some of the challenges present in New Zealand’s current adaptation framework. It argues that adaptation requires policy response from central government. Mitigation of carbon emissions can no longer be the sole focus of climate change policy. This paper proposes that climate change adaptation be addressed in legislation by requiring central government to engage with the issue through a series of policy documents. These would include a national climate change risk assessment, a national adaptation plan, and an independent adaptation progress report. These documents will be updated every five years and will thus provide for a coordinated response to adaptation that allows progress to be monitored and evaluated.

Keywords: climate change adaptation, adaptation policy, Zero Carbon Act

JEL Classification: K00

Suggested Citation

Haddleton, Billie, Adaptation Issues in New Zealand's Climate Change Policy (September 3, 2018). Victoria University of Wellington Legal Research Paper, Student/Alumni Paper No. 16/2019. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3449049 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3449049

Billie Haddleton (Contact Author)

Victoria University of Wellington, Faculty of Law, Student/Alumni ( email )

PO Box 600
Wellington, Victoria 6140
New Zealand

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