WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND (Sept. 30, 2019) – AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, is developing New Zealand’s first National Climate Change Risk Assessment (NCCRA), which is designed to help the government understand the impact of climate change on the country’s natural, financial and infrastructure assets. As New Zealand prepares for a warmer climate, increased severity and frequency of storms and rising sea levels, the NCCRA will inform future investment, planning and policy decisions.
“Climate change will impact most parts of New Zealand’s economy, society and community to varying degrees. AECOM’s assessment will help the New Zealand government develop a list of critical risks that require attention within the next five years and will form part of a National Adaptation Plan,” said Will Symons, AECOM Australia and New Zealand’s resilience and sustainability practice leader, who was an independent peer reviewer for Singapore’s climate change risk assessment.
“We are pleased to begin creating a framework that includes 17 categories of climate-related hazards most likely to result in substantial risks to natural, social, financial and cultural assets that New Zealanders value. For example, we will review how sea level rise is likely to impact existing and future infrastructure assets like coastal highways and railways or how future droughts may impact the dairy industry. Then it will be up to the government and other stakeholders to decide which ones to tackle first.”
The study will establish a panel of local and international specialists including respected Māori kaumātua (elder), Sir John Clark, to ensure that this rapid risk assessment process draws on the best available information and knowledge to identify how climate change will affect the economy, communities and New Zealand’s natural environment. This includes looking at climate change risks from the perspective of mātauranga Māori (traditional knowledge), the role of iwi Māori as kaitiaki (custodians) and as partners with the New Zealand Government under the Treaty of Waitangi.
Around the world, AECOM has developed several climate risk assessments on behalf of national governments and is currently the implementation partner for the Great Barrier Reef Foundation’s Resilient Reef initiative. This global project is helping the custodians and communities that rely upon the Great Barrier Reef, the Ningaloo Coast, Belize Barrier Reef, the Lagoons of New Caledonia and Palau’s Rock Islands Southern Lagoon reefs to identify, prioritize and implement actions to mitigate the threat of climate change.
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Director, External Affairs Australia New Zealand
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