In this report, risk is defined as the interaction of climate-related hazards with the vulnerability and exposure of human and natural systems.
Risks associated with climate change result from a combination of three factors:
The table below sets out the hazard and vulnerability/exposure for New Zealand's six sensitivities to climate change identified by this report.
|Living on coasts|
|Rising sea levels, stronger storms, inundation, coastal erosion||Main population centres on coasts, increasing numbers of people retiring to these areas, coastal heritage sites in these areas.|
|Living on floodplains|
|Increased extreme rainfall events, floods, inundation, erosion of land||Main population centres on the floodplains of major rivers, urban water supply and storm-water systems not designed for changing climate extreme|
|Surrounded by ocean|
|Changing ocean temperature, water chemistry and currents.||New Zealand has important fishing, aquaculture, marine recreational use and iconic wildlife.|
|Relying on the availability of freshwater|
|Increasing frequency and intensity of droughts and risk of wild fire||Urban expansion and increasing demand for water from agriculture, New Zealand’s economy is tied to primary industries strongly linked to freshwater availability.|
|With unique ecosystems|
|Changing temperatures and moisture availability will change where New Zealand’s species can be located.||New Zealand has many unique indigenous ecosystems, and aquatic managed ecosystems that are critical to the country’s economic, social and cultural well-being, particularly for Māori|
|Relying on strong international connectivity|
|Climate impacts on international crops, food production and population migration||New Zealand is an open economy with important trading links with Europe, Australia, the US and China. Climate change-related impacts on trading partners have the potential to affect our ability to sell our goods overseas, migration, and social and cultural ties.|