New Zealand best place to survive global collapse of society - study

·1-min read
The town of Glenorchy in New Zealand’s South Island (REUTERS)
The town of Glenorchy in New Zealand’s South Island (REUTERS)

New Zealand is the best place to survive a global collapse of society, researchers have said.

A study, conducted by the the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, has suggested a combination of ecological destruction, limited resources and population growth could trigger a worldwide breakdown “within a few decades.”

It also believes that climate change could exacerbate the issue.

The study, published in the journal Sustainability, identified five out of 20 countries as best placed to maintain civilisation within their borders.

New Zealand came out on top - beating Iceland, the UK, Ireland and Australia, who all followed closely behind.

The group are all islands or island continents which have fewer extremes in temperatures and varied amounts of rainfall due to their proximity to oceans.

Researchers said this makes them most likely to have relatively stable conditions in the future, despite the effects of climate change - which is expected to hit subtropics and tropics the hardest.

NZ topped the list because of its ability to produce geothermal and hydroelectric energy, its abundant agricultural land and its low population would allow it to survive relatively unscathed.

While the UK has generally fertile soils and varied agricultural output, it does not have as much agricultural land available because of its population density, raising questions about future self-sufficiency, researchers added.

Professor Aled Jones, director of the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University, said “significant changes are possible in the coming years and decades”.

He said: “The impact of climate change, including increased frequency and intensity of drought and flooding, extreme temperatures, and greater population movement, could dictate the severity of these changes.”

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