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Council supports RMA changes on climate

Council supports RMA changes on climate

North Shore City Council supports a new government bill on climate change and energy efficiency.

The Resource Management (Energy and Climate Change) Amendment Bill encourages the sustainable use of energy throughout the country. It would ensure that local councils consider how energy such as electricity and transport fuels can be used more efficiently, what effect climate change could have on the area and the benefits of renewable energy (energy that can be recycled or is self-restoring such as solar, hydro or wind power).

North Shore City's strategy and finance committee chairperson, Tony Holman, says being more energy-wise at home and at work will play a part in helping to preserve the city's unique natural and coastal environment.

"We've heard how changing weather patterns pose an increasing threat to the environment with higher temperatures, rising sea levels and more storms. There are simple measures that people can take to help reduce the effects that greenhouse gas emissions have on our climate," he says.

"Catching the bus or cycling, using solar power alternatives and recycling are just some of the ways we can be more energy efficient. It could also save people money, as well as protecting the environment in the long-term."

Changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) are proposed in the bill that would give local councils a greater mandate to promote and enforce the sustainable use of energy through their district plans.

Energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change would need to be considered when reviewing the city's District Plan and when assessing applications for resource consent.

Councillor Holman says North Shore City's District Plan already has some policies on these matters but the bill would strengthen their application and ensure councillors consider energy efficiency, renewable energy and climate change in city planning.

The bill forms part of central government's commitment to the Kyoto Protocol, under which New Zealand has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels.

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