Regional risk assessment highlights climate change impacts

The first region-wide climate change risk assessment, released recently, provides an overview of how the wider Bay of Plenty may be affected because of climate change-related hazards, such as more severe and frequent weather events. 

The assessment takes a comprehensive look at climate change risk across all aspects of our environment, our people, and our economy and sets a baseline for us all to collectively build upon and respond to climate change risks.

As the first risk assessment for the region it provides a valuable resource, setting a baseline to collectively build upon and respond to climate change risks. This information will help to identify where to focus actions and ensure regional stakeholders make well-informed decisions into the future.

Key hazards identified for the region include marine heatwaves; coastal erosion, inundation and flooding; increased temperature; drought; landslides; inland flooding; extreme weather and increased fire risk.

The findings of the assessment are split into three volumes which summarise risks and consequences: (1) at a regional level, (2) by district and (3) by sector.

Key uses of the risk assessment could be:

  • Sector based adaptation planning: information in the risk assessment supports sectors to plan at more detail, the next level down from the regional outputs.
  • Detailed local assessments: the regional assessment provides a basis for detailed local assessments and then planning at a city/district scale.
  • Strategic planning: the information will be an important input for consideration in regional and sub-regional strategic planning.

The Regional Climate Change Risk Assessment was funded by Bay of Plenty Regional Council and carried out by Tonkin and Taylor, in collaboration with staff from across local councils.