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Reducing our Greenhouse Gas Emissions

New Zealand aims to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 30% below 2005 levels in the next decade.

Our current energy efficiency target and carbon price policies are not sufficient to achieve this goal. The government, at both national and local level, needs to reassess its policies and adopt sectoral energy action plans; the transport, residential and industry sectors in particular need to see change.

On Friday 1st March, at 6.30pm Khurram Rao, an international environmental economist, will give a presentation and lead a discussion on what our options are here in Aotearoa NZ. This will be held in the Solomons Group buildings at the bottom of Redan Road (former FNDC/Kiwidotcom building). The entrance is from the car park around the back of the building.

The event is organised by Transition Towns Kaitaia. Entry by koha.

In 2017 the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration was signed by all but 23 local government bodies. This says “For our part we commit to:

1. Develop and implement ambitious action plans that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and support resilience within our own councils and for our local communities. These plans will:

a. promote walking, cycling, public transport and other low carbon transport options;

b. work to improve the resource efficiency and health of homes, businesses and infrastructure in our district; and

c. support the use of renewable energy and uptake of electric vehicles.

2. Work with our communities to understand, prepare for and respond to the physical impacts of climate change.

3. Work with central government to deliver on national emission reduction targets and support resilience in our communities.

Although not on the original document, the Far North District Council voted to support the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Declaration in 2017. Unfortunately, this decision was not conveyed to Local Government New Zealand. According to Richard Edmondson, Communications Team, Far North District Council, ‘We have contacted them today (21/2/19) and asked them to add the Far North District Council to the declaration.’

We’re trying to find out what action FNDC have specifically taken towards meeting these commitments.

Northland Regional Council, who were among the original signatories stated in their Chairman’s Report August 2017 “Interestingly, when it comes to mitigation measures, NRC is well ahead of the pack – our extensive electric vehicle fleet, solar panels to power those vehicles, and coastal hazard maps with current and 100-year risk using climate change predictions for sea level rise, being good examples. Find out more at www.nrc.govt.nz/coastalhazardmaps”

It will be interesting to find out from them what additional measures they have taken since as part of their commitment, or whether they have rested on their laurels. We’ll let you know what we find out, and you never know they may turn up at the discussion, they, and FNDC, have been invited!

It’s local election year so come along and hear what is possible so you’ll be sure to have your questions ready for the election candidates later in the year when they want your vote!

compiled by Anna Dunford

#transitiontowns #resilienteconomy #localcampaigns #carbonoffset #localindustry #energyefficiency #carbonzero #localgovernment #greenhousegasemissions #climatechange

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