Media release by Mayor K Gurunathan Wednesday 12th June 2019
Greater Wellington Regional Council must declare a Climate Change Emergency given their release of a new report predicting significant sea level rise and storm surge impacts on the region's coastal residential and commercial properties.
On Monday morning GW's Facebook posted an alert for the public to view its report "Sea level rise and storm surge modelling" published on its council website. Given the significant impacts predicted by this modelling it will be remiss of GW if it does not declare a Climate Change Emergency.
The public alert comes as a surprise as the regional mayors had not been briefed and Kapiti had made it clear that KCDC councillors had to be briefed first plus we had requirements to brief two of our coastal interest groups early.
Now that GW has made it public, it has a responsibility to underpin the dire predictions of the modelling by making a declaration of Climate Change Emergency. And immediately activate its responsibility to fund its share of the community-led coastal adaptation process. We have already made a submission to GW's Annual Plan for this funding and look forward to GW supporting our vulnerable coastal communities. GW is the key consenting authority for coastal defensive structures.
Kāpiti Coast District Council, which is facing significant climate change related coastal erosion, inundation and inland flooding, has already declared a Climate Change Emergency on 23 May. We have also committed the organisation to be Carbon Neutral by 2025.
I look forward to a positive response from GW chair Chris Laidlaw and his councillors.