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Symposium explores challenges of climate change


Attendees at LGNZ’s Climate Change Symposium in Wellington on Friday 7 September will discuss the challenges and opportunities of climate change facing New Zealand communities now and in the future.

Supported by Deep South National Science Challenge, over 130 local government delegates, industry experts and central government officials will hear speakers discuss community engagement, options for adapting, adaptation funding, legal developments, and the importance of taking a linked approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation action.

“Local government has a critical role to play in ensuring that its communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.

“This symposium is an opportunity to explore the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation, solutions to those challenges and the work that councils across the country are doing to address climate change.”

The Climate Change Symposium will feature 24 speakers, including:

• Associate Professor Janet Stephenson, Director, Centre for Sustainability University of Otago
• Dr David Prentice, Chair, Interim Climate Change Committee;
• James Hughes, Infrastructure Resilience Specialist, Tonkin + Taylor;
• Simon Bendall, Director, Mitchell Daysh;
• Dr Huhana Smith, Head of School of Art, Massey University;
• Vernon Rive, Senior Law Lecturer, AUT Law School; and
• Maurice Marquardt, Team Leader Sustainability and Resilience, AECOM.

A full agenda can be found here.

Councils are already undertaking significant work on climate change adaptation and mitigation, and the Symposium will demonstrate some of the sector’s significant progress and leadership to date.

“Discussions will feed into LGNZ’s Climate Change Project, which seeks to provides councils with an evidence base to support a comprehensive framework for risk reduction and/or retreat; a comprehensive adaptation plan for New Zealand; and a local government view on emission reduction targets and how to achieve these.”

“LGNZ and its members recognise a critical need for proactive collaboration between central and local government, and between city, regional, unitary and district councils which recognises the different mandates and roles for climate change responses.”

“However there are areas for significant and urgent progress which require collaboration between central and local government for the benefit of all New Zealanders that will be the focus of the discussion on Friday,” says Mr Cull.

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