The debate on the science is over. Climate change is real; it is happening even faster than previously thought and it is powerfully influenced by human activities. As events like Hurricane Katrina, the shrinking of ice caps and the calamitous 2003 European heatwave remind us, climate change is not a future threat, it already profoundly affects the world we live in. Scientific evidence shows that dengerous climate change can only be averted through concerted global action - not in 30 years time, but over the coming decade. Bold policies, informed public debate and decisive political leadership are critical, yet many countries - New Zealand among them - have been slow to act. With contributions by more than 30 leading scientists and policy experts, from New Zealand and elsewhere, this book will increase public understanding about climate change and help to develop robust, effective policies. It presents the latest scientific evidence, examines the likely impacts of climate change on New Zealand and the Pacific, and outlines a range of policy solutions. It is based on a major Climate Change and Governance Conference held in Wellington in March 2006.
Ralph Chapman has worked extensively on climate change issues with New Zealand government agencies and international bodies, and was part of New Zealand's negotiating team for the kyoto Protocol. He is Associate Professor and Director of the Graduate Programme in Environmental Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. Jonathan Boston is Professor of Public Policy and Deputy Director of the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University. Margot Schwass is a Wellington writer and editor who has published in fields including international development, environmental policy, urban design and public sector management.