Climate change risks in Auckland

Author:
Arup
Source:
Auckland Council Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) and Chief Sustainability Office | Arup
Publication date:
2019

Executive summary

Auckland is being impacted by climate change and projections indicate that impacts will intensify over the next century. Action is required to anticipate the effects and adapt to a changing climate.

In response to the threat of climate change, Auckland Council has committed to facilitating the development of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan. It will steer the region on a path toward rapidly reducing greenhouse gas emissions and to prepare the city for the impacts of a changing climate. This is in line with the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global warming to 1.5°C.

As part of developing the evidence-base for the action plan, Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit has produced a Climate Change Risk Assessment technical report series. This assessment aims to provide information about the risks the Auckland Region may face and its impacts on people, society and the environment. This research is underpinned by the Auckland Region climate change projections and impacts research undertaken by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Pearce et al., 2018).

This document summarises the research, key findings and considerations from the risk assessment to contribute to the development of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan.

Climate change in Auckland

The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research climate projections (Pearce et al., 2018) provide Auckland with the most robust, localised information on the anticipated changes in climate for the region and is available on Knowledge Auckland. The anticipated changes in the climate in Auckland are changes in sea level rise, temperature, rainfall, storm events, wind and humidity.

Climate Change Risk Assessment

The Climate Change Risk Assessment technical report series were undertaken using the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change methodology (IPCC, 2014) to assess impacts on people, the environment and infrastructure. The purpose was to identify which parts of Auckland are the most susceptible to impacts of climate change and also the social and environmental vulnerability. This is understood by evaluating the adaptive capacity of areas to impacts of climate change.

Auckland Council technical report TR2019/019

Climate Change Risk Assessment CCRA 2019 series

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Climate Change Risk Assessment 2019

As communities across the world set out to plan for climate change mitigation and adaptation, they first seek to understand how climate change will affect their city, region, or country.

The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) has been produced by Auckland Council’s Research and Evaluation Unit (RIMU) in support of the Auckland Climate Action Plan (ACAP) at the request of the Chief Sustainability Office. Its aim is to provide information about the risk and vulnerabilities the Auckland region may face under a changing climate regime, which is already underway. In 2018, national climate change projections were scaled-down to produce a more specific picture of their likely effects within the Auckland region. Based on this, CCRA adopted the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) representative concentration pathway (RCP) 8.5 (“business as usual”) scenario as its guiding projection, given the lack of evidence of any meaningful and sustained decreases in emissions that would shift to other projection pathways.

The eight reports in the CCRA consider various components of key risks – that is, hazard, exposure, and vulnerability – across sectors and systems of interest: people (heat vulnerability, climate change and air quality), society (social vulnerability and flooding), and natural environment (terrestrial and marine ecosystems), as well sea level rise at regional and local scales. A summary report has also been produced.

Titles in the Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) series:

An assessment of vulnerability to climate change in Auckland. Fernandez, M. A. and N. E. Golubiewski

Development of the Auckland Heat Vulnerability Index. Joynt, J. L. R. and N. E. Golubiewski

Air quality and societal impacts from predicted climate change in Auckland. Talbot, N.

Climate change risk assessment for terrestrial species and ecosystems in the Auckland region. Bishop, C. D. and T. J. Landers 

Climate change risk assessment for Auckland’s marine and freshwater ecosystems. Foley, M. M. and M. Carbines

Flooding risk in a changing climate, TR2019/016. Golubiewski, N. E., J. L. R. Joynt and K. Balderston

Auckland’s exposure to sea level rise: part 1 – regional inventory. Golubiewski, N. E., K. Balderston, C. Hu and J. Boyle

Auckland’s exposure to sea level rise: part 2 – local inventory, TR2019/018 (forthcoming). Boyle, J., N. E. Golubiewski, K. Balderston and C. Hu

Summary: Climate change risks in Auckland. Auckland Council. Prepared by Arup for Auckland Council 

 

Last updated: 2019-03-20

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