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Council commits to Climate Protection

15 July 2004

Council commits to Climate Protection

Waitakere City has joined an international programme empowering local governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over 500 local governments throughout the world have joined the Communities for Climate Protection (CCP) programme which will be launched in New Zealand at the Local Government New Zealand Conference on 28 July. .

Waitakere City has actively lobbied for the establishment of a programme of this type for several years says Chair of the Environmental Management Committee Penny Hulse.

The Committee decided that the Waitakere City will join the programme and work towards achieving the Communities for Climate Protection programme’s “five milestones”, of identifying key sources of greenhouse emissions, setting an emissions reduction goal, carrying out a local “greenhouse action plan” and monitoring actions

“We have the necessary resources to fulfil all five requirements straight off, without any extra strain on the current budget (apart from a $1200 joining fee). The climate protection programme dovetails perfectly with Waitakere’s Sustainable Energy and Clean Air platform of the Long Term Council Community Plan,” says Councillor Hulse.

Benefits of the programme’s initiatives include improving air quality by reducing reliance on fossil fuels, social, environmental and employment benefits and the development of new markets and industries. Waitakere City Council already undertakes a range of initiatives that could be grouped under the heading of “Greenhouse Actions”, such as its energy efficiency, transport and green building activities. The programme will strengthen these actions by giving Council a more structured framework to work in as well as offering valuable opportunities for information exchange with communities around the globe.

ICLEI (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives) has been contracted by the New Zealand Climate Change Office, within the Ministry for the Environment, to deliver CCP. ICLEI has a long track record of working with local government to achieve sustainable development, running a variety of campaigns which help local governments generate political awareness of key issues, build capacity through technical assistance and training, and evaluate on-going efforts.

ICLEI’s Chief Executive Officer Wayne Wescott told the Environmental Management Committee meeting about cumulative action achieved by Australia’s 184 CCP member Councils, resulting in CO2 reduction of 1.8 million tonnes (equivalant to taking 100 000 cars off the road), $3.3 million investment in new jobs and $67 million inversted in greenhouse abatement.

Things that Waitakere is already doing to reduce greenhouse gas emission are listed on http://www.waitakere.govt.nz/AbtCit/ec/ecoinit/ecoinitclimate.asp

ENDS


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