Councils team up for climate change submission

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THREE of Southland’s councils have joined forces to submit on a Government discussion paper centred on climate change action.

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

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

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 (ES) principal adviser Janelle Rees explained 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 said the submission states 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 several 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 highlighted most in the document, and included 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 ES full council meeting on December 15.

For more information, go to the Ministry for the Environment website.

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