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Wellington behind World Environment Day, 5 June

NEWS RELEASE
30 May 2008

Wellington gets behind World Environment Day, 5 June

A free ‘eco party’ featuring Sam Flynn Scott and Open Souls, tours of the tip and ‘eco homes’, and an Arbor Day planting of 5000 native plants involving 200 school children, will mark the week of World Environment Day 2008 in Wellington.

World Environment Day is a United Nations event that is observed annually on 5 June in more than 100 countries. Its aim is to focus public attention on the state of the environment, and to encourage people to take better care of the environment.

For the first time this year, Wellington, New Zealand, is hosting World Environment Day. The event will also feature numerous other community activities, exhibitions, lectures and debates.

The 2008 theme is climate change with a focus on moving towards a low-carbon economy and lifestyle. ‘Kick the CO2 habit’ is the international slogan.

The day is being led by the Ministry for the Environment on behalf of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) with Wellington City Council playing a key role and providing a variety of activities.

“This is a natural fit for Wellington, and the City Council, which takes climate change seriously,” says Mayor Kerry Prendergast.

“We are very proud to be the host city for this year’s event.”

Last year, the Council agreed to a vision for Wellington to be carbon neutral by 2012, which puts the city on the road to becoming the world’s first ‘green capital’.

Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer, the Council’s Climate Change portfolio leader, says the Council’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions are ambitious. “We’re aiming to reduce Council emissions by 40 percent and community emissions by 30 percent by 2020. We have also established a climate change office, which will help us champion and lead the change to a lower carbon future for Wellington, and agreed to a climate change action plan.”

See the accompanying programme for the full list of activities and events happening around the city to celebrate World Environment Day. All Wellingtonians are encouraged to support these initiatives, and to get involved.

For more information, check out www.Wellington.govt.nz or call the Council on 499 4444.

ENDS

www.Wellington.govt.nz

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