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Council launches Action Plan on Climate Change

Media Release

10 November 2006

Council launches Action Plan on Climate Change

The Waitakere City Council has set itself some ambitious goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, through an action plan on Climate Change and Energy.

The goals are to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15% per person by 2010, by 40% in 2021, and by 80% per capita in 2051.

Councillor Penny Hulse says that achieving the 2010 goal will stabilise gas emissions at their 2001 levels which will mean that they are not increasing as the population grows.

“Drastic action is needed. We have been saying this for years – that’s why we established the Eco City in the first place," says Cr Hulse.

"Now the government is saying it too and we are recommitting ourselves by setting the kind of goals that are needed to make a difference."

“As the Al Gore film An Inconvenient Truth demonstrates; the time for talking is past. It is time for action and we are taking it,” she says

“Not only is the time to act getting away from us, it will never be cheaper than it is now. The cost of acting will be much smaller than the cost of doing nothing."

Councillor Hulse says the council acknowledges that setting goals must be matched by the determination to meet them.

“We will be looking at ways to reduce energy use in our buildings and for transport while at the same time generating more energy from renewable sources, such as solar and wind technology and biofuels.

We also want to stimulate debate in the community to encourage and empower people."

The council is offering a package of incentives designed to facilitate change, including waiving the building consent fee for solar hot water systems and providing free, independent advice on how to build an environmentally efficient house.

“Using solar energy makes a great deal of sense because it can significantly reduce the power costs year after year. This is particularly so when it is used to heat hot water, perhaps the biggest single energy user in most households. Not only can individuals benefit in this way but every installation helps the city reduce the amount of electricity it takes from the national grid,” says Councillor Hulse.

While a building consent is required for all solar hot water systems to ensure safety and proper installation, waiving the consent fee makes the option more attractive.

Further incentives are offered by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority in the form of interest fee loans for such systems.

Residents wanting more information can visit www.solarindustries.org.nz or talk to the Independent Eco Design Advisor, Fred Braxton, based at council on 836 8000 Ext 8886.

Mr Braxton is now available at the council, in association with BRANZ, to give general energy efficiency, water saving and eco building advice to anyone planning to build in Waitakere.

He has many years of building experience and is able to spend up to two hours with individuals, builders or developers.

He can offer independent advice on a wide range of issues from energy efficiency to water tanks and indoor air quality.

For more information on this project, please go to http://www.ecodesignadvisor.org.nz


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