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Canterbury’s climate change affects everyone



7 March 2008

Media release

Canterbury’s climate change affects everyone

Canterbury’s changing climate and its long-term impact on the region will be discussed at next week’s (Wednesday 12 March) free public forum hosted by the Southern Environmental Trust.

David Parker, Minister responsible for climate change issues, will discuss Government policies and strategies for climate change at a national level before Dr David Wratt and Peter Townsend cover its direct affect on Canterbury.

Water demand and its availability within Canterbury will be a key aspect of Dr David Wratt’s presentation at Changing Climates: Hot Topic for Canterbury. He will focus on the future implications for Canterbury of both natural variations in climate and human-induced climate change.

“There is plenty of evidence that the climate of the globe is already changing as the result of greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, emitted by human activities,” he says.


“Adapting to these changes is crucial to ensure that Canterbury can cope,” says Dr Wratt.


David Wratt is the general manager responsible for climate and climate change work at NIWA (the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research) in Wellington. 


Existing changes within Canterbury’s, and New Zealand's, climates along with projections of what will happen to global climates and sea levels through the coming century will also be covered.


The social and economic affects on Canterbury will be presented by Peter Townsend, Chief Executive Officer of the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce.


“Canterbury with its strong agricultural background depends on the weather for many of its economic activities,” says Bob Blyth from the Southern Environment Trust.


“The social impact of this will affect everyone – not just those who depend on the weather for their livelihood,” says Mr Blyth.


An opportunity for questions and discussion will follow the speakers’ presentations.


Changing Climates: Hot topic for Canterbury is free and is open to the public. The forum is being held at 6.30pm on Wednesday 12 March 2008 at the Town Hall’s Limes Room in Christchurch.

The Southern Environmental Trust hosts annual forums and seminars on environmental issues. Past topics have included water issues, natural disasters, air quality, energy, and waste water.

The forum is sponsored by Meridian Energy, Environment Canterbury, the Christchurch City Council and Beca. Everyone is welcome.

For more information about Changing Climates: Hot topic for Canterbury visit the Southern Environmental Trust’s website www.set.org.nz.





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