New Zealand science advisor says we will 'all boil' if we don't take action against climate change now


A former Chief Science Advisor says the world is seeing the effects of climate change and New Zealanders need to act.

Sir Peter Gluckman told Newshub Live at 8 pm, that we need to listen to the science and policymakers, and the public need to act before it's too late.

"We are already seeing effects around the world which are not nice and every country including New Zealand needs to listen to the science and act. 

"If all of us sit back and do nothing we will boil," Gluckman told Newshub. 

He was responding to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released earlier this week, which claims global emissions will increase from 1.5 degrees celsius to 3.2 degrees by the end of the century, which could be catastrophic. 

Only severe emissions cuts across all sectors, from agriculture and transport to energy and buildings, can turn things around, the report says.

Gluckman reckons we are struggling to keep our global emissions down.

"I think it's going to be very difficult to keep to the low of 1.5 now, I think we are on a path to an excessive 2 which will be catastrophic for the world." 

Although the IPPC report seems to be all doom and gloom, Gluckman says our building sector is one of the biggest contributors to global emissions and we need to think about how we are building our houses.

"We still build houses which are not energy efficient. The report points out that 16 percent of emissions are related to building, that's an awful lot of buildings without thinking about being energy-efficient buildings."

Insurance Council CEO Tim Grafton agreed we need to look at our housing stock and particularly where we are building. 

"If we look to the future we don't want to build in dumb places so that avoids creating additional issues in the future.

"In all the places we are experiencing frequent flooding events, everybody has seen the damage done to Westport, over the last several months with repeat events.

"East Coast and North Island as well and the rather low lying places as well, Thames estuary there are settlements in that area too. There are pockets around New Zealand where climate change will definitely have an impact unless we start to plan ahead about that to reduce the risk," Grafton told Newshub Late. 

Grafton also says we need to really think about what to do with our houses to minimise the impact of building in places that won't be environmentally efficient.

 "We have got a lot of properties that are at risk as the years go by so what we have got to be doing is thinking smartly about what we do to reduce the risk."