Councils’ climate change response collective

 

James Shaw. Photo: Linda Robertson
James Shaw. Photo: Linda Robertson
Three of Southland’s councils have joined forces in submitting on a government discussion paper centred on climate change action.

Transitioning to a low emissions and climate resilient future was the discussion paper and invitation for submissions closed last week.

Climate change minister James Shaw stressed in the plan document the impact the issue would have on future generations.

The emissions reduction plan will set the direction for climate action for the next 15 years and require action across a range of areas, including energy, transport, waste, agriculture, construction and financial services.

Environment Southland principal adviser Janelle Rees said the regional council had teamed up with Invercargill City Council and Southland District Council to develop a joint submission to the Government’s discussion paper.

"We are taking a regionalised, joined-up approach to climate change."

She elaborated, saying the submission stated their support of the transition to a low-carbon/carbon-neutral economy through a diverse range of initiatives that support local economies and increase community wellbeing.

"It focuses on transport, energy, agriculture and forestry primarily. We also discuss equitable transition and ask for clarity about how initiatives will be implemented and funded.”

Feedback was sought on a multitude of new strategies and policies.

These included developing a strategy to embed Te Tiriti o Waitangi (Treaty of Waitangi) principles in future emissions reduction plans and supporting Maori to create a transition strategy that responds to the particular priorities and needs of the Maori economy and people.

Transport was the area with most bullet points in the document, and involved improving the reach, frequency and quality of public transport, introducing four transport targets, investigating ways to reduce aviation and maritime emissions and introducing a sustainable biofuels mandate.

The Southland councils’ submission will be made public in the agenda for the Environment Southland full council meeting on December 15.

More information and details on the discussion paper can be found at the Ministry for the Environment website.

laura.smith@odt.co.nz

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