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City signs up to Climate Protection Programme

MEDIA RELEASE
4 February 2005

Auckland City signs up to Climate Protection Programme to promote better environmental protection

Auckland City’s Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee has endorsed the council joining the Communities for Climate Change Protection Programme.

To become a member, a minuted resolution from a full council meeting is needed.

The endorsement follows a council resolution in November 2004 that serious and urgent consideration be given to Auckland City joining the programme.

The main cause of climate change is greenhouse gas emissions. Auckland City already undertakes a number of initiatives as part of its environmental policy and commitment to sustainability to reduce emissions. These include developing an efficient transport system, the change in 2001 to 120 litre rubbish bins, the closed landfill Asset Management Plan and internal initiatives such as fleet audits, and recycling and composting programmes.

“While Auckland City is already active in addressing climate change, joining the programme is a commitment to continue this work and make the organisational changes needed to meet the programme’s targets,” said Councillor Christine Caughey, Chair of the Environment, Heritage and Urban Form Committee.

The programme is based on reaching five goals:

- preparing a base-line inventory and future forecasts for key sources of emissions

- establish local emissions reduction targets

- establish action plans in which measures required to achieve reductions are specified

- implement the action plans

- periodically monitor sources of emissions and report on them.

The Communities for Climate Protection Programme was launched in July 2004. So far, eleven councils throughout New Zealand have signed up.

“In deciding the sign up to the programme Auckland City will be acknowledging the importance of this issue,” says Councillor Caughey. “Forward looking planning is necessary to prevent climate change, which is one of the most urgent issues facing our planet.

“It is paramount that at local body level we play a very proactive part in helping to reduce green house gases. Joining this programme endorses Auckland City’s commitment,” she says.

Central government, which ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 2002, sees local government as a key player in meeting New Zealand’s emission targets. The programme was developed to assist local government implement sustainability policies and carry out their statutory functions.

Ends

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