New Zealand launches national plan to protect against climate disasters

“Extreme weather events that seemed unimaginable even a few years ago are now occurring at a pace and intensity we have never experienced before,” said Climate Secretary James Shaw. Guardian. New Zealand is committed to reducing CO2 emissions to prevent climate change, while preparing for increased disasters caused by climate change. Like floods, forest fires and sea level rise.

National Climate Adaptation Plan

The National Climate Adaptation Plan is a comprehensive document that provides a blueprint for protecting infrastructure, homes, cities and cultural treasures. Much of the program focuses on preparing people, businesses, local governments and real estate developers. The government wants to inform them about climate risks and they take this into account in their planning. For example, the plan requires municipalities to provide potential homebuyers with information about the climate risks of those locations. In addition, there will be national maps and a website where people can find the latest information about the impact of climate disasters on their environment.

One of the most important questions is overlooked, The Guardian writes. If climate change makes houses, streets, or entire neighborhoods unlivable, who pays to move them? This is a pertinent question as the government has promised to legislate on this organized migration by the end of 2023.

Organized Migration

In Mata Nagar, people have had bad experiences in moving to safer areas. After more than a decade of legal and political wrangling, the remaining residents have become squatters on the land they originally owned. They are angry about “involuntary evictions”, The Guardian writes. A sign on a fence reads: BEWARE NEW ZEALANDERS, YOU’RE NEXT.

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One in seven New Zealanders (675,000 people) live in flood prone areas. And by 2050, at least 10,000 homes in New Zealand’s major cities will be uninsurable. This is what the Deep South Challenge Science Collaborative concluded in 2020.

In the Netherlands, insurers also warn against this. For example, for the insurance of houses in flood plains. They are now considering, among other things, an emergency plan to cover the cost of damage caused by breaching sea trenches.

Meanwhile in the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, people are also thinking about a future where extreme weather and high sea levels are the norm. This is how Deltares is already collecting in 2019 Strategies to adapt to high and accelerated sea-level rise.

In our current conservation scenarios, we assume a sea level rise of 0.35 to 1 meter by 2100 (relative to 1995). Now we know that 2 meters is not excluded in 2100. “Is it sustainable to continue living in the city of Randstad or should we go a little further east?” Sabrina Helmir of Arcadis wondered before. “There are places in the world where decisions like this have already been made,” said Anouk Donkervoort of Cushman & Wakefield, a real estate investor consultant. Delta Commissioner Peter Glass isn’t worried yet. “It only becomes dangerous if you don’t do anything about it.”

Read an interview with Delta Commissioner Peter Glass: We’ll decide at the end of this decade whether the coastline should stay.

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