Climate Impact Assessment for Southland

Environment Southland’s Strategy and Policy committee has endorsed a report commissioned by all four Southland councils on the impacts of climate change to the region.

The Regional Climate Change Impact Assessment, prepared by the National Institute of Water and Atmosphere (NIWA) provides important data and addresses potential impacts of climate change on a range of components of climate, hydrology and coastal processes across Southland.

Environment Southland policy and planning manager Lucy Hicks said we know that the climate is changing. In order to prepare, robust data is needed to base our decision-making and future plan developments on.

“The changes to our climate will have implications not only for Southland, but New Zealand’s climate and weather systems, for freshwater availability and for our communities’ exposure to hazards,” she said. “Trends will vary across the country and will depend on the level of emissions over the coming century.”

The report identifies areas where we still need to know more. For example, sea level rise is a highly likely and costly risk for our coastal areas and higher resolution elevation modelling is needed to understand more about this risk.

Read the full report here