Climate emergency on agenda

The Otago Regional Council will today decide whether to declare a climate emergency.

However, the decision was unlikely to affect its work programme, staff said.

Councillors will vote on the declaration at a meeting in Dunedin, after members of the public asked it to at a public forum last month.

If it did declare an emergency, it would follow the examples of other councils including the Dunedin City Council, Auckland Council, Wellington City Council, Whangarei District Council, Nelson City Council and Environment Canterbury.

A staff paper noted there were no inherent statutory or legal implications to the decision and it was unlikely to affect its work programme.

''It carries symbolic weight, indicating council's intention to prioritise responding to climate change, as far as its powers and responsibilities permit.''

However, there had been some criticism of other councils that declared the emergency, on the grounds it was tokenism, the paper said.

''The public expects action to result from such a declaration.''

A decision not to declare the emergency could be negatively received by sections of the public, it said.

Staff opted not to make a decision, saying it should be a conscience vote for councillors.

jono.edwards@odt.co.nz

 

Add a Comment

 

drivesouth-pow-classic-2.png

 

Advertisement

postanote_header_620_x_80.png

postanote_620_x_25.jpg

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter