How climate change is affecting Northland
Northland’s stunning coasts and forests, native wildlife and subtropical environment make it a highly desirable place to live. Our economy relies on primary industries – agriculture, forestry and fishing – that are fundamentally linked to the natural world.
But we are also living in te ao hurihuri, the ever-changing world. The past and ongoing release of greenhouse gases is already altering the environment that supports us, threatening to cause severe social and environmental disruption.
Rising sea levels eat away at the coastline we love to play around. Severe storms and floods inundate communities more frequently, causing damage and isolation. Our water supply systems are vulnerable to prolonged droughts. The atmosphere is warming and oceans are becoming more acidic, putting our indigenous biodiversity and ecosystems under stress.
In the interests of unborn generations, our communities and our precious taonga, we must take decisive climate action now.
We need to reduce our carbon footprint
Roughly 80% of Northland’s regional emissions come mostly from agriculture and manufacturing. The remainder come from transport, services and households.
While New Zealand’s overall emissions are small in the global picture, we have some of the highest emissions per capita in the world (which could result in future trade sanctions). Northland’s contribution to national emissions is also unenviable: we emit more greenhouse gases in terms of our regional productivity than elsewhere in the country, influenced by the presence of high-emitting industry such as Golden Bay Cement and the refinery.
New Zealand signed the Paris agreement, which sets a target of limiting global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. This will require the world to reach net zero emissions by 2050. New Zealand has committed to reducing emissions by 30% (compared with 2005 gross emissions) by the end of this decade.