What are Climate Change Mitigation and Climate Change Adaptation?

Climate change mitigation is achieved by limiting or preventing greenhouse gas emissions and by enhancing activities that remove these gases from the atmosphere (source: https://www.ipcc.ch/working-group/wg3/).

Adaptation is defined as adjustments, in response to actual or expected climate effects (source: IPCC, fifth Assessment Report AR5).

Our emissions in the Wairarapa

The pie shows the emissions for the Wairarapa in 2012-2013. Source: Greenhouse gas inventory for the Wellington Region - 2014.


Even though agriculture emits over 80% of the greenhouse gases in the Wairarapa, these emissions are compensated by forestry. Indeed, this activity stores more carbon than agriculture, stationery energy, transport waste and industry combined.

Total gross emissions: +1,390,504 tCO2e*

Total net emissions: -406,128 tCO2e*

* This unit is the CO2 equivalent emission from all the greenhouse gases combined.

Adaptation = Adapt to the risk

Adaptation to the Climate Change can already be done by everyone.

It can be as easy as saving resources, especially water. For examlpe, don’t leave the tap running when you brush your teeth, shorten your shower. If you want to invest a little bit of money, you can install water tanks to collect rain water or install drip lines for irrigation.

You can also adapt your housing to Climate Change. For example, close your windows and blinds day time in the hottest days to keep the warm out and open everything night time to cool your house. If you want to spend more for the climate, you could change your windows to double glazed or insulate your house.

Mitigation = Reduce emissions

Mitigation can also be done in easy ways. To mitigate climate change, two things need to be done:

  • reduce greenhouse gas emissions,
  • increase carbon sinks (trees, wetlands, …).

South Wairarapa and Carterton District Councils aim to be leading the community in Climate Change mitigation, and the Councils are currently developing a strategy to mitigate Climate Change.

There is hope: it isn’t too late to change our habits and reduce the impacts of the Climate Change

In the next sections, we will expose a few actions that can already be done with almost no effort and budget!

South Wairarapa District Council