IPWEA NZ and Tonkin + Taylor hosted a webinar on climate change and resilience in asset management in August 2020. Industry experts from the government sector, climate specialist, infrastructure asset management talked about the impacts of climate change in New Zealand and the need for councils to include climate change into its LTPs or long-term plans (Climate change and Resilience, 2020).
A great example of how extreme events can result in massive damages and costs due to lack of preparations and failing infrastructures is the devastation of Hurricane Katrina in the United States. The city of New Orleans suffered a $108 billion losses from property damage when its levees failed to protect them from extensive flooding. The majority of those affected were poor African Americans who lived in hardships many years after the event happened (Gibbens, 2019).
In New Zealand, climate change risks are also growing, and it will affect infrastructures and raise insurance costs. The NCCRA report presents more details on these risks.
Local councils in New Zealand have recognised that climate change is a “significant future issue” in their communities. Seventeen councils have announced climate emergencies as of June 2020. Climate change will also affect the council’s delivery of services to the community, including infrastructures like roads, water systems in danger of damage to sea-level rise and other climate change consequences (Climate change, 2020).
How can councils integrate climate change into its LTPs?
Climate change (2020) of the Society of Local Government Managers (SOLGM) suggests that the councils’ LTP for 2021 to 2031 should reflect the following:
- the effects of climate change;
- impacts of climate change on the council and the community;
- what are the major issues, risks, and opportunities;
- what are the big decisions the council and the community need to take;
- and roughly, when, and what the consequences are.
Read the entire the full SOLGM document note by clicking on the button below:
Climate Change and Resilience in Asset Management – Webinar (2020). NZ IPWEA. Retrieved from https://www.ipwea.org/newzealand/connect/events/eventdescription?CalendarEventKey=43ea02b1-760e-4737-86a6-f9ff84ff1fb6&CommunityKey=2b848eba-4a87-4aff-8ebc-410412a89f39&Home=%2Fnamsnz%2Ftraining%2Fevents
Gibbens, S. (2019, January 16). Hurricane Katrina explained. National Geographic. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/reference/hurricane-katrina/
Climate change in 2021-31: A practice note. (2020, July). Society of Local Government Managers. PDF.