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Climate change policy under the spotlight

MEDIA RELEASE

4 September 2006

Climate change policy under the spotlight – the next steps

A day-long public symposium on global and domestic policies on climate change will be held at the Wellington Town Hall on 6 October.

The Climate Change Policy Symposium will pay particular attention to the policy issues facing agriculture and forestry, and the balance between mitigation and adaptation. It will also consider the steps necessary to achieve the primary objective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – to avoid dangerous human-induced climate change.

Victoria’s Institute of Policy Studies (within the School of Government), and the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, are collaborating to present the Climate Change Policy Symposium involving national and international speakers and facilitators. The Symposium builds on the findings of the influential Climate Change and Governance Conference held in Wellington in March this year.

Symposium spokesperson, Professor Jonathan Boston of the Institute of Policy Studies says the day-long event will put the focus on policy – both global and domestic – and will help ensure that the policy measures adopted by New Zealand are informed by the best international practice.

“The global mean surface temperature rose by around 0.70 C during the 20th Century. It is projected to rise much more than this over the 21st century, unless urgent and effective action is taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Many experts believe that the world community has no more than 10 years to put in place the measures necessary to avoid dangerous human-induced climate change – or it will be too late,” says Professor Boston.

International speakers include Dr Bert Metz, Co-Chair, Working Group 3, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; Professor Michael Grubb, Carbon Trust, UK, Imperial College London, IPCC, WG3; and Dr Steve Hatfield-Dodds, Convenor, CSIRO Integration Network, Canberra.

Presentations from Victoria University academic staff will be complemented by a range of other domestic experts including Dr Adrian Macey, New Zealand’s Climate Change Ambassador and representatives from NIWA, the Ministry for the Environment, and the Ministry of Agriculture & Forestry.

Associate Professor Ralph Chapman, of the School of Geography, Environment & Earth Sciences, underlines that New Zealand is at a critical moment in terms of climate policy development: “We need to sort out the policy issues smartly and this symposium is a good opportunity to test ideas and move the discussion forward.”

The Symposium is open to the public. Further details are available at: http://www.vuw.ac.nz/ips/current-activities/Climate_The_Policy_Challenges.aspx


ENDS

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