Wellbeing Budget 2022

A Secure Future

Climate Change

Aotearoa New Zealand's Climate Change Response

A secure future relies on addressing climate change

Addressing climate change is a core part of ensuring a thriving, productive, and secure future for Aotearoa New Zealand. Government, communities, iwi, and businesses are already taking action. Budget 2022 supports Aotearoa New Zealand to accelerate and expand our response to climate change.

The broad scope of actions and measures reflected in the first Emissions Reduction Plan will require funding across multiple fiscal years. In Budget 2022 a number of key initiatives have been funded through the newly established Climate Emergency Response Fund (the CERF) that will support immediate emissions reductions and help lay the foundations for future reductions and removals. As Aotearoa New Zealand's mitigation response accelerates over time, it is anticipated that additional funding will be sought through the CERF, alongside other high-value initiatives that will support New Zealand's climate change adaptation response.

Climate change is the most pressing long-term challenge facing New Zealand. Mitigating the impact of climate change on our natural environment and the wellbeing of communities is critical. Equally, climate change will have consequences for our economic security. Left unchecked, it will have a significant negative impact on New Zealanders’ living standards and the vulnerability of our economy in the coming years.

However, addressing climate change also presents opportunities to improve New Zealanders' living standards as we reduce our reliance on volatile global energy markets, develop new industries, renew efforts to take care of our natural environment, improve air and water quality, and develop knowledge and skills that can help us transition to a high-wage, low-emissions economy that provides economic security in good times and bad.

Even as we take action to mitigate the severe effects of climate change, action will be needed to protect our communities and economy against its unavoidable effects. Anticipated physical impacts in Aotearoa New Zealand from a warming climate include increased temperatures and extreme weather events, new vulnerabilities to flood hazards, greater extremes of both rainfall and drought, ocean acidification, and sea level rise in low-lying coastal areas.

Aotearoa New Zealand trades on its environmental credentials. Our actions are critical to the value of the goods and services we export, including our primary products, tourism, and manufactured goods. As global consumer preferences place increasing emphasis on the importance of climate credentials, we have to make sure we are at the front of pack to continue to grow our exports and diversify our economy.

The overall impact of climate change on our collective wellbeing will depend on how effectively we respond to the significant challenge ahead. The changes our economy and society face from climate change will have implications for wellbeing across the natural environment, human health, and broader economic, social, and cultural wellbeing.

This will include how effectively we transition to a low-emissions economy and mitigate further climate change, as well as how we adapt to the inevitable impacts of a changing climate over the course of the century. It means using climate action to address existing inequities, supporting New Zealanders through this transition by taking pressure off individuals and providing them with choices about how they take part in our combined climate action. All New Zealanders, whether as individuals, communities, iwi, businesses, or central and local government have a role to play in our climate change response.

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