Central and local government showed strong alignment on strategy for climate change adaptation as Local Government New Zealand President Dave Cull and Minister for Climate Change Hon James Shaw shared the stage at the annual LGNZ Conference in Christchurch.
LGNZ President Dave Cull says local government knows that if we don’t take steps to mitigate the climate change problem, the adaptation challenges that we’re experiencing will become even greater, more complex and significantly more costly.
“Despite all the challenges, local government views the need for climate change adaptation and particularly mitigation as presenting significant opportunities. The challenges can be overcome.”
“There’s a very clear opportunity for local government to work with central government to put in place an adaptation plan that clearly allocates roles and responsibilities and we’re looking forward to working with the Government to do that.”
“There’s also an urgent need to get on with some adaptation planning now ahead of the completion of the first national risk assessment – we can, for example, start work now on jointly defining a common set of goals, outcomes and priorities for adaptation.”
“Local and central government must work together to develop a legal framework that incentivises and better supports councils to undertake adaptation action and fulfil their ambitions for more resilient communities.”
“And there is also a need for more support from central government, as the costs of adaptation are too significant for local authorities to bear alone,” says Mr Cull.
During his presentation Minister Shaw agreed on need to work together to address the risks and costs of climate change, “We need to establish a financial ecosystem to share and spread risk evenly between and within generations and between central and local government.”
“This is our problem to deal with. We need to focus on the future and bring everyone along with us. We need to start thinking about the opportunity, stop thinking about the cost, and think about the investment. Then we are much more likely to find our way out of this,” said Mr Shaw.