With the growing threats of climate change, the need for adaptation cannot be overstated. Aside from the huge price tag that comes with adaptation, there is a need for an overarching policy or regulations that would provide guidance and direction on how adaptation and funding should be done.
The paper, “Funding Climate Change Adaptation, the case for a new policy framework” that Jonathan Boston and Judy Lawrence authored, “summarises the nature of the adaptation challenges facing New Zealand, outlines the problems with current policy settings, identifies principles and considerations that should guide the reform agenda, and reviews several policy options.”
Jonathan Boston is a Professor of Public Policy in the School of Government at Victoria Univesity of Wellington. Judy Lawerence is a Senior Research Fellow at the New Zealand Climate Change Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington and co-chair of the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group.
Mitigating climate change is a ‘super-wicked’ policy problem and New Zealand’s current planning, regulatory, and funding frameworks are insufficient to address the impacts of climate change, the paper says.
How do policymakers approach the unique challenge of slow-motion natural disaster, one that will increase in magnitude and intensity as the century progresses?
How can policies or regulations address the destructive consequences that come with it: rising sea levels, severe droughts, intense rainfall, human ills, and threats to the ecosystems and biodiversity. These are the questions that the paper seeks answers to.
Aside from policy and regulatory challenges, there are political challenges, for example, what adaptation strategies should be prioritised? How to handle the public’s reaction when these adaptation measures are implemented?
The paper also provides answers to the following question:
- Is the country’s current funding, planning, regulatory frameworks, policy tools and instruments enough to deal with climate change adaptation?
- What is the cost of climate change, globally and here at home?
- Aside from protecting infrastructure, how do we protect the agriculture, aquaculture, and the fishing industry from the impacts of climate change?
The article suggests two guiding principles for funding climate change adaptation that should be incorporated into the policy framework: Long-term cost minimisation and Equitable burden-sharing. These concepts are thoroughly discussed in the paper.
It also takes into account the future generations and the equitable sharing of burden in terms of the future impacts and costs of climate change.
Read the interesting facts, figures, and information on the current state of New Zealand’s policies and regulation with regards to climate change adaptation and funding that the write-up presents.
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PHOTO CREDIT: Muriwai Beach, New Zealand by Karl Hipolito