We know that climate change is happening. The challenge facing us is what we do about it: defining our role and identifying where we can have the most influence and impact.
On 27 June 2019, Regional Councillors acknowledged climate change as a serious issue for the region by declaring a climate emergency and making a commitment to work with the community on transitioning to a low carbon future and adapting to our changed climate.
New Zealand temperature records show an increase of around one degree Celsius over the last 100 years. As this century unfolds, the Bay of Plenty climate will change. As temperatures rise, scientists expect New Zealand’s wind patterns to shift, which will also affect our future rainfall. We will see an increase in the number of hot days (25°C or more) which are expected to become the summer norm by the end of the century, along with fewer frosts.
Sea level rise is another indicator of warming temperatures. Recordings from Moturiki Island, off Mt Maunganui, show sea levels there have risen 11 centimetres since 1950, an average rise of 1.9 millimetres a year, which matches the average global increase. See our projections page for more information on how climate change will affect us.
Action on climate change is needed in both terms of mitigation (reducing our contribution to climate change through, for example, reducing carbon emissions) and adaptation (responding to the changes we are already seeing and will continue to encounter, even with a global reduction in future emissions).