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Climate Solutions

by Nature

The climate is changing.  And we aren’t prepared.

We are facing an existential threat – literally a threat to our existence. Many councils around Aotearoa have acknowledged this threat by declaring a climate emergency.

We have to realise that this is not playing games. This is not just having a nice little debate, arguments and then coming away with a compromise. This is an urgent problem that has to be solved and, what’s more, we know how to do it.” – Sir David Attenborough

We know how to respond to the emergency. And we can afford to do so.

With a focus on Canterbury, this site includes resources relevant to all of Aoteaora.

The goal of this site is to become an open resource and information hub; to share learning, knowledge, and practical actions to address the climate emergency by enlisting the free services provided by nature. These will help us both mitigate and also adapt to the impacts of climate change.

The content draws on peer-reviewed research and proven outcomes in a wide range of science disciplines such as chemistry, physics, ecology, agriculture, economics, and human health and well-being.

We know there’s some great work underway to build a safer, healthier, and more resilient future. Contact us if you would like to share your knowledge or information about your projects on this website; we’re all in this together.

“Nature is at the heart of our success, livelihood and wellbeing as New Zealanders. It is valuable for its own sake and provides us with so many benefits from clean water, pollination, flood protection, food production, and the landscapes that are the basis for our tourism industry.” – Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage

The most cost-effective and practical strategy is to rapidly mobilise the free ecosystem services provided by nature. To enable these services, we must restore the habits and biodiversity that provide them. And we must do so before they are irretrievably lost. These services will help:

  • Reduce carbon emissions into the atmosphere
  • Sequester atmospheric carbon back into the ground
  • Reduce economic and social upheaval of rising seas and severe weather
  • Replenish biodiversity across multiple habitats, including soils
  • Restore health to waterways
  • Restore mahinga kai
  • Increase agricultural productivity while reducing emissions
  • Create new business opportunities  
  • Reduce the impacts of climate change on human health and wellbeing

The climate is changing.  And so can we.

An emergency by definition is a serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action. By intent, declaring an emergency disrupts the status quo, that is, the way we go about our daily lives and our expectations for the future. So declaring an emergency can be justified only if:

  • The risk is high; and
  • The consequences of failure are unmanageable or unacceptable; and
  • Time constraints govern whether a response will be effective.

Based on the evidence, even using a cautious and conservative analysis, declaring a climate emergency is the only rational and responsible action to avoid global social, economic, and environmental collapse within our lifetime and the lifetimes of our children and mokopuna.

Mitgation, adaptation, or both?

To mitigate (reduce) the impacts of climate change, we need to:

  • Emit fewer fossils fuel gasses into the atmosphere by decarbonsing our economy
  • Take excess fossils fuel gasses from the atmosphere by restoring nature

Adaptation is also needed because some of the effects of climate change are now unavoidable. As we have already reached 1.2 °C above pre-Industrial temperatures, the odds of limiting the worst of these by keeping warming under 1.5 °C are not in our favour  – just under 8 years – so we must now find ways to live with the coming changes.

How much time do we have?

The counter below is set to 2°C, which will result in catastrophic changes. Click the 1.5°C scenario for how much time to avert the worst impacts.

References and further reading