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Forum explores low-carbon futures for local govt

Forum explores low-carbon futures for local government

“Innovative and forward-thinking councils committed to working on climate change will come together to discuss low-carbon futures for local government at the Communities for Climate Protection®- New Zealand 2008 Forum,” said Diana Shand, National Programme Manager for ICLEI’s Communities for Climate Protection - New Zealand (CCP-NZ) Programme*.

“This exciting national Forum to be held in Hamilton on 2 April, will bring together speakers from Australia and New Zealand and councils already working on climate change, to discuss the implications for local government of new policies on climate change and how Emissions Trading might impact them” says Ms Shand.

”The New Zealand Government’s new climate change policies will help to build the momentum of exisitng and future climate change work by councils as well as encouraging partnerships across public and private sector organisations that are taking bold, practical and concerted action on climate change,” said Ms Shand.

Jim Norris, Former Mayor of Mt Alexander Shire, Australia is the keynote speaker leading into the Forum. Mt Alexander Shire has been recognized for its innovative programmes to cut emissions and to involve the community in doing their part to tackle climate change.

Murray Ward, Principal of Global Climate Change Consultancy (GtripleC) will discuss carbon trading for local governments and the value of the voluntary carbon markets.

Mayor of Wellington City, Kerry Prendergast, will lead a discussion of councils committed to carbon neutrality will discuss what the implications of these political positions will have for them.

Other topics to be covered at the Forum include best practice climate protection measures, business and community partnership opportunities and carbon neutrality for local governments.

Howard Fancy, Acting Chief Executive, Ministry for the Environment will close the Forum giving a keynote address on the role of local government in implementing the government’s climate change policies. After the Forum he will be presenting awards to twelve councils who have achieved various milestones in the Communities for Climate Protection-NZ Programme in a ceremony and cocktail event at the Le Grand Hotel in Hamilton.

The twelve regional, city and district councils in the CCP-NZ Programme who will be receiving awards have done so for achieving one of five milestones to tackle climate change in their corporate operations and in their communities. Milestones include setting emission-reduction goals and developing a local action plan.

Thirty one councils in total are members of the programme in New Zealand representing over 80% percent of the nation’s population.

Ms Shand says councils around New Zealand are undertaking innovative projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “From improving energy efficiency in buildings to reducing waste to landfill, councils are helping their communities take action.”

Background on CCP-NZ
CCP-NZ is a New Zealand Government initiative, funded by the Ministry for the Environment and delivered by ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability– Oceania (ICLEI Oceania) [The international organisation was founded in 1990 as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives, but is now known as ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability], a not-for-profit international local government association operating in 30 countries around the world. ICLEI's mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global sustainability with a special focus on environmental conditions through cumulative local actions. The CCP-NZ programme provides a strategic milestone framework via which councils can take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Council Emission Reduction Goals
As part of their commitment to the CCP-NZ Programme, councils establish reduction targets that support their vision for the future of their community:
 * Wellington City has set a target to be the first carbon neutral capital city in the world
 * Nelson City has set its target to reduce its corporate emissions by 40% below the 2004 level by 2020 and to reduce its community emissions by 40% below the 2001 level by 2020
* Hamilton City was one of the first councils in New Zealand to join the Programme
and are at the stage of implementing their Local Action Plan. Its reduction goals are
to reduce corporate emissions by 20% on 2001 levels by 2020 and to stabilise
community emissions at 2001 levels by 2020.
Community’s Goals:

Council Actions to Reduce Emissions
National Programme Manager for CCP-NZ Ms Diana Shand says “CCP councils around New Zealand are undertaking innovative projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. From improving energy efficiency in buildings to reducing waste to landfill, councils are helping their communities take action.”

“Dunedin City Council’s Moana Pool Complex was the largest single energy user in the city area. A project was developed to produce energy savings through the installation of a heat pump to recover energy from the extracted air that is currently going to waste and utilise this to reduce pool heating costs. This project has reduced in CO2 emissions by 490 tonnes per year and resulted in annual energy savings of $135,000,” said Ms Shand.

“Christchurch City Council collects methane gas from its Burwood landfill site to fire the boilers at the QEII swimming pool. Council is assessing options to respond to sea level rise including the restoration of the sand dunes on the coast and reducing its energy usage by 30%.

“As these examples show, councils play a crucial role within their communities, demonstrating their leadership in reducing potential climate change impacts on their communities,” said Ms Shand


Web: http://ccp.iclei.org/ccp-nz

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