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Inquiry Into Local Government And Climate Change


LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND ENVIRONMENT COMMITTEE

Media Release

Committee Reports On Inquiry Into Local Government And Climate Change

The Local Government and Environment Committee has presented its report on the inquiry into the role of local government in meeting New Zealand’s climate change target. The Government has signalled its intention to ratify the Kyoto Protocol by September 2002 and is now seeking public submissions on New Zealand’s response to climate change.

In this context, the purpose of the committee’s report is to:

- Emphasise the importance of taking a proactive, co-operative approach to the implementation of climate change policy.
- Highlight the important role that local government must play if New Zealand is to achieve its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Recommend actions to central government to facilitate the work of local government in this area.
- Contribute to the development of the Government’s policy response to climate change.

The committee found the areas in which local government has the most influence are transport patterns, and information and awareness building in the community. The report makes 33 recommendations to the Government. These recommendations relate to the following areas:

- greater emphasis on sustainability in legislation under which land transport strategies are prepared
- addressing the current fragmentation of responsibilities for public transport and alternatives to roading
- changes to the objective, role and procedures of Transfund New Zealand
- the need for the role of the Resource Management Act 1991 in addressing greenhouse gas emissions be clarified
- provision of greater guidance about urban form
- the need for guidance and assistance with farming techniques and rural land use decisions that have implications for greenhouse gas emissions
- balancing the benefits of increasing long-term carbon sinks with the need to protect and enhance indigenous biodiversity
- mechanisms for avoiding or mitigating greenhouse gas emissions of proposed new major electricity plants
- provision of information about climate change and ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- reporting on progress against New Zealand’s climate change target and against the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy.

Copies of the report will soon be available from Bennetts Government Bookshops, and the report is available at the following website: www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz. The Government’s response to the recommendations in the report is due by 28 February 2002.

For further information contact Jeanette Fitzsimons, Chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee, ph 025 586 068.

Members of the Local Government and Environment Committee are:

Jeanette Fitzsimons, Chairperson
Martin Gallagher, Deputy Chairperson
David Benson-Pope
Georgina Beyer
Gerrard Eckhoff
Ann Hartley
Hon Marie Hasler
Joe Hawke
Alec Neill
Eric Roy

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