This report highlights six key risks from climate change to New Zealand:
- inundation and erosion of coasts
- flooding from river systems
- pressure on fresh water resources
- changes in the ocean
- threats to land-based and freshwater ecosystems
- repercussions of global changes for New Zealand
Learn more about the key risks of climate change for New Zealand:
While these cover not all implications and risks associated with climate change, they are considered to pose some of the largest risks to New Zealand (taking into account hazards, exposure and vulnerability, as well as the scale of likely impacts and their probability of occurrence), and could affect large sections of New Zealand society.
Climate change will have other important implications (for example for human health, energy generation and distribution, transport and infrastructure), but these are not discussed in detail in this report as they were not considered to be key risks at the same scale and with the same implications for near-term decision-making as the six areas covered in this report.
Many New Zealanders live either on coasts or on floodplains, exposing us to coastal inundation and flood events.
Many New Zealanders live on floodplains and damaging flood events will occur more frequently.
New Zealanders rely on the availability of freshwater. Increased pressure on water resources is almost certain in future.
Changes in ocean temperature, water chemistry and currents due to climate change will have impacts on New Zealand’s marine life, fishing, aquaculture and recreation use.
Over half of New Zealand’s more then 50,000 species are found nowhere else in the world; over three quarters of the vascular plants, rising to 93% for alpine plants, and over 80% for the more than 20,000 invertebrates.
New Zealand is strongly dependent upon international connections. The way other countries respond to climate change will influence New Zealand’s international trade relationships, and potentially migration patterns.