How NZ must transform to combat climate change

There is nowhere to hide from the effects of climate change and civilisation as we know it is coming to an end. 

That's the confronting message from Rod Oram, journalist and contributing author in The Big Questions, a collection of essays from New Zealand academics and experts on a range of topics, from climate change to political discourse.

In his chapter, titled How will climate change affect our economy?, he argues that we only have a only matter of years to go through a 'fourth industrial revolution'.

"We would have to achieve a speed of change the scale of change and complexity of change...that humankind has never come within cooee of before," he told Newshub Nation.

While realistic about the scale of the issues, Mr Oram isn't a pessimist.

"We need to quite radically reinvent and change what we do, but I consider that to be immensely exciting. You don't often have a chance to be involved in creating a new civilisation over only a few decades, which is the time we've got."

He says while we already understand 'the broad pathways' towards transforming our energy and industrial sectors, changing agriculture systems is particularly crucial for both New Zealand and the rest of the world.

"The food system globally is in very serious trouble. So if we look at the way food is grown's not just our ruminant animals but rice paddies, for example, produce a lot of greenhouse gases."

However, Mr Oram remains positive about the possibilities, calling for 'mutual respect and understanding' between urban and rural communities.

"I spend a lot of time out in the primary sector and my very central message to them is 'we're all in this together."

Mr Oram says a crucial concept for New Zealand to embrace is  'the circular economy', meaning everything that we produce, we know how to completely unmake and reuse.

The Productivity Commission recently presented their final report advising the Government on how to transition to a low emission economy.

The full report can be viewed here.

Watch the video for the full interview.

Newshub Nation.

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