Week of environment events

The Emissions Trading Scheme comes under the spotlight this week as part of the World Environment Day activities in Central Otago.

A workshop aimed at reducing the impact of the scheme on households will be held in Alexandra tonight, followed by a forum tomorrow night on the wider repercussions for farmers, foresters, businesses and other workers.

The theme for World Environment Day, which was on Sunday, is Forest: Nature at your service.

The Central Otago events this week have been organised by the Making a Difference for Central Otago (MAD4CO) group, which comes under the umbrella of the Sustainable Living programme at Central Otago Reap.

Programme co-ordinator Clair Higginson said it was the fourth year the group had celebrated environment day with a week of events.

Householders could learn more about the scheme at the workshop tonight, along with information about how to save costs and reduce their carbon footprint, she said.

"The Emissions Trading Scheme is expected to cost the average household $165 a year."

That figure was made up of a rise in transport, fuel and electricity prices as the sectors that were directly involved in the scheme passed on their costs to customers.

There would also be a range of secondary effects, such as goods increasing in price as a result of increased freight charges.

A short film Coming Clean - Emissions Trading in NewZealand will be screened at the workshop.

"Coming Clean is a superb watch which explains in a digestible and captivating way carbon credits and emissions trading using very cool animations", workshop co-ordinator Steve Brown said.

The public forum tomorrow night would present information from a panel of experts and give people the chance to ask questions and discuss the issues, Ms Higginson said.

Anyone interesting in attending the forum or workshop is asked to register with Reap.

On Thursday there will be tours of Central Otago Waste-Busters Alexandra base, and volunteers are also asked to help plant trees and grasses at the Commissioners Track in Roxburgh, starting at 10am.


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