It is hard to absorb what the impacts of climate change will mean. The impacts we can imagine because of their relation to temperature, like hotter summers and more dramatic storms, are easy to grasp. It's the impacts later in the century - particularly of sea level rise - that will only prove more real as water laps at our gumboots.
But in reality climate change is already here, and its effects are just beginning. When it rains heavily at a high tide, or when the waves from a severe storm crash against the coast, we are already experiencing early impacts of climate change. Cyclone Gita recently smashed our entire south coast, and Makara with it - leading to our Makara engagement process. Our underground stormwater network is already badly stressed in some areas - struggling to drain even at the best of times.
Some of these climate impacts are already locked in based on past activity, but others can be avoided through adopting the challenge in the First to Zero blueprint. An ambitious climate change mitigation strategy is our best option to avoid some of these impacts.