A step forward for climate change research in NZ

Monday, 30 July, 2007

Motu Economic and Public Policy Research has been awarded close to $1.7 million of Foundation for Research, Science and Technology funding for nearly four years of research on the economics of climate change and its impact on New Zealand.

The program is titled, "Integrated Research on the Economics of Climate Change Impacts, Adaptation and Mitigation'.

Motu will be collaborating with a number of organisations on this research including Victoria University of Wellington and Infometrics as well as international collaborators.

"The foundation's announcement is a positive step towards developing policies that would, if implemented, reduce New Zealand's vulnerability to climate change," Motu director and senior researcher Dr Suzi Kerr said.

The project will look at the impact of climate change on the agricultural and energy sectors and the flow-on effects on the economy. The research will also look at the costs, benefits and various impacts of climate change policies, including emissions trading plans, on New Zealand.

"Eventually we will be able to assess multiple pressures introduced by climate change, such as changing water availability combined with increasing demand for irrigation and hydroelectricity," Kerr said.

"We will be able to answer questions like "how will these proposed climate change policies change our economy and society?' and "how will climate change impacts and emissions trading overseas affect NZ businesses?'

"This research will create frameworks that will make it possible for researchers to provide analyses of climate change policy decisions specific to New Zealand in hours, days or weeks, rather than years."

NIWA, Motu, Landcare Research/New Zealand Centre for Ecological Economics, Infometrics, AgResearch and GNS Science have formed a collaborative alliance, EcoClimate, in order to better understand and prepare for the impacts of climate change in New Zealand.

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