You might not be interested in climate change, but it’s interested in you!
Climate change poses the greatest risk to life as we know it on the planet today, this includes our country, our region and our families.
We’re hearing this time and time again, and we need to step up and make changes for a future that our grandchildren can live in, and be proud of what we did.
Some are not interested in climate change, but that doesn’t stop it or make it go away. Climatic events don’t distinguish between persons or families and ignoring it is like putting our heads in the sand.
As a community we need to take responsibility for the decisions made in the past, we have inherited them and the environmental consequences. We also have to be responsible for the earth we pass onto to the future.
We are already seeing more extreme rainfall, heatwave days, and dry spell days. Last year’s drought was devastating, and a reminder of the impact of the climate on our environment and regional economy.
Along with increased frequency and intensity of droughts, we are facing rising sea levels that are already threatening our coastal communities, flooding and major storms, more wildfires, soil erosion, and an increase in disease. ‘Disease’ includes Covid-19, with outbreaks like this likely to become more frequent and harder to control.
We simply cannot continue with business as usual. Our window of time to act is short, and we can’t delay.
The latest report from the United Nations was stark and disturbing. 2020 was the hottest year on record, up 1.28C above pre industrial levels rapidly approaching the scientifically agreed guardrail of 1.5C increase. Beyond that the world crosses the predicted tipping point. Already the UN notes that 2020 was the costliest year on record for wildfires, storm damage and melting ice caps at a rate ahead of predictions. The UN says, this is the year to act and act decisively.
We’re looking at our long term plan at the Regional Council, and factoring in climate change, but what we want to know from you – is what we’re doing enough, and is it fast enough?
Climate change has two parts for us as a Regional Council, adaptation and mitigation. Council is seeking to ramp up what we do in both mitigation and adaptation to climate change, and we want to know what you think.
The council is already working to adapt to climate change with work like the coastal hazards strategy, erosion control, and a review of our flood protection network.
Mitigation is the big challenge. This is about changing what we do and how we do it to lower our emissions footprint. Council is here already with environmental education, sustainable homes, public transport, and cycle networks.
Council wishes to add a climate change ambassador, who would lead its climate action work. This would mean a dedicated person working within the council and with other councils and oragnisations to plan, educate, and take action for Hawke’s Bay.
But this is just one role, and it’s a task beyond just one person. It’s something for all of us to do – help us take action on climate change.
Hawke’s Bay, we’re a great place to live, and we want to protect that. But it’s bigger than that. What we do today will project into the future. This is a legacy issue, the biggest legacy issue of our time. How will we be judged. They knew and did nothing, or they knew and they acted as best they could. What will be this generations legacy to the future generations of Hawke’s Bay?
Have your say on our Long Term Plan.