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Roadmaps: Using the guidance manual

Understanding climate change, how it may affect different parts of New Zealand and how to go about identifying and addressing local effects, is complex. Local government will have a range of different needs. Each region, district and community will have its own issues and priorities, so the Guidance Manual does not provide ‘one size fits all’ solutions. Rather, it provides examples and suggestions; local authorities and communities will develop their own diverse and creative adaptive responses to climate change over time. This approach allows for the diversity of social, economic and physical situations around the country and the mandate of local government.

Most users of the Guidance Manual will concentrate on the parts that help them meet their own responsibilities. To help users find the aspects of the Manual that are most important to them, this section sets out:

  • key questions that people in local government ask, and the chapters in which each question is answered (Table R1)

  • a ‘roadmap’ for those who need guidance on how to apply climate change information to a specific issue, problem or responsibility (Figure R1)

  • a ‘roadmap’ for those who wish to use the Guidance Manual to assist with overall policy development and planning (Figure R2).

Those who want to know more can access the most current scientific and practice information by reading the whole manual, along with other material referred to in Table 4.4 and in the References.

Table R1: Questions and where to find the answers.

Questions Section or chapter

What are the key points I need to know about planning for climate change in New Zealand?

Executive Summary

Where do I start?

Roadmaps: Using the Guidance Manual (Figures R1 and R2)

Why should my council take any notice of and plan for climate change?

Executive Summary;
Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 7: Integrating Climate Change Risk Assessment Into Council Decisions

Isn’t this problem too big or long-term for a council to tackle, given all the uncertainties?

Chapter 1: Introduction (Box 1.1)

How is the climate in our region or district likely to change due to global greenhouse gas emissions? What are the uncertainties?

Chapter 2: Projections of Future New Zealand Change;
Appendix 3: Further Details.

How large will the expected human-induced climate changes in our region or district be, compared to the natural changes which occur now?

Chapter 3: Relationship to Current Climate Variability and Change

What functions and services undertaken by my council might be affected by climate change?

Chapter 4: Effects on Local Government Functions and Services

What methods and data sources are available for assessing likely effects?

Chapter 4: Effects on Local Government Functions and Services

How should we develop future scenarios for use in
(a) preliminary analyses and (b) detailed analyses of impacts?

Chapter 5: Developing the Scenarios

What climate change assumptions should be used in scenario assessments? What about the uncertainties?

Chapter 5: Developing the Scenarios (Tables 5.1 and 5.2).

How are climate change risks estimated, and prioritised relative to other hazards?

Chapter 6: Risk Assessment

How can climate change risk assessment be integrated into council decisions and plans?

Chapter 7: Integrating Climate Change Risk Assessment into Council Decisions;
Appendix 5: Change in Plans – Checklist for Contents

Figure R1: Assessing effects of climate change on a particular council function or responsibility.

This flow chart assists users of this manual to assess the effects of climate and climate change on specific council issues, functions or responsibilities. At each step of the flow chart, the boxes to the right of the diagram identify where to seek guidance in this manual.

Step

Stages in the process to assess the effects of climate change

Relevant section in Manual

1

Establish the context of the function to be assessed, asset to be considered, problem to be solved, or decision to be made.

Section 6.5: The risk assessment process Section 7.2: Context of uncertainty

2

Is the function/decision sensitive to climate, and might the effect be magnified by climate change?

Table 4.1: Local government functions and possible climate change outcomes Table 4.2: Sensitivity to climate

3

If answer to Step 2 is YES, then Identify relevant climate factors. Develop preliminary scenarios of how these factors and relevant social and economic conditions may change in your area. Undertake an initial screening assessment. If the answer is NO, no further analysis is needed.

Table 4.1: Local government functions and possible climate change outcomes Chapter 4: Effects on local government functions and services Table 5.1: Climate parameter values for use in scenario analyses Chapter 2: Climate change projections Chapter 5: Developing scenarios Box 5.1: Screening assessment

4

Does screening assessment suggest material impacts and/or inadequate information?

Chapter 6: Risk Assessment Note: "Material impacts" covers negative or positive impacts

5

If answer to Step 4 is YES, then Undertake a detailed scenario analysis If the answer is NO, no further analysis is needed.

Table 4.3: Information, models, expertise for effects assessment Chapter 4: Effects on local government functions and services Tables 5.1 and 5.2: Climate parameters for use in scenario analyses Chapter 2: Climate change projections Chapter 3: Natural climate variations Chapter 5: Developing scenarios

6

Evaluate risks and priorities against other risks and opportunities

Chapter 6: Risk assessment

7

Use results in decisions about the function or activity being assessed, or management of the asset being considered. Carry information forward into relevant other council activities and plans.

Chapter 7: Integration into council decisions Appendix 5: Checklist for plans

This roadmap is designed for people dealing with issues for whom climate and climate change play an important role. An example is an engineer charged with upgrading the stormwater drainage system of a city, who needs to use future rainfall projections to ensure that the system will cope with the effects of climate change in 50 years’ time. The boxes on the right show where to find guidance in this Manual for each step.

Figure R2: Identifying and prioritising climate change risks and opportunities across all council functions and responsibilities.

This flow chart assists local government staff or consultants with identifying and prioritising climate change effects across a council's operations. The boxes to the right of the flow chart identify where to seek guidance in this manual, at each step.

Step

Stages in the process to prioritise the effects of climate change

Relevant section in Manual

1

Identify functions, assets and responsibilities of your council which might be affected by climate change.

Chapter 4: Effects on local government functions and services Table 4.1: Local government functions and possible climate change outcomes Table 4.2: Sensitivity of natural resources to climate change Box 5.1: Screening assessment

2

Identify which of these assets and activities are important enough to your council to warrant further investigation.

As above

3

Determine which climate factors are key influences on these important assets and activities.

As above

4

Is enough known about present and likely future values of these climate factors in your region for initial effects assessment?

Proceed to Step 6 if answer is YES.

Table 5.1: Values or sources of climate parameters for scenario analyses Chapter 2: Projections of future climate Appendix 3: Further details of projections Chapter 3: Present climate variation Table 4.3: Data, information and expertise sources

5

If answer is NO, obtain further information and advise and proceed to Step 6

 

6

Develop plausible scenarios of how key climate, social and economic factors relevant to significant assets and activities may change in your region. Assess effects of these changes through an initial screening assessment.

Chapter 5: Developing scenarios Chapter 4: Effects on local government functions and services

7

Use risk assessment to determine the significance of these effects and prioritise them.

Chapter 6: Risk assessment

8

Undertake or commission further, more detailed scenario analyses for those effects identified as highest priority.

Chapter 5: Developing scenarios Tables 5.1 and 5.2: Climate values for scenarios Chapters 2 and 3: Future and present climate Chapter 4: Effects on functions and services Table 4.3: Data, information and expertise

9

Feed results into council activities and plans

Chapter 7: Integration into council decisions Appendix 5: Checklist for plans

This roadmap is for council staff or consultants tasked with identifying and prioritising climate change effects across a council’s operations. The boxes on the right show where to find guidance for each step.