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Council to consider draft Climate Action Plan

Following a mandate from Council late last year, Queenstown Lakes District Council (QLDC) staff have developed a draft Climate Action Plan for the district. This follows extensive discussions with iwi, key external stakeholders, local climate change experts, and the community through the My Place facilitated workshops.

The draft plan will considered by elected members at the Council meeting this week and if approved, community engagement on the draft plan is expected to begin in July/August.

Detailed in the draft plan are activities for QLDC and other sectors to act on over the next three years, primarily to respond to the effects of climate change and the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

QLDC General Manager Corporate Services Meaghan Miller said the draft plan reflected the Council’s express desire for action with an approach that emphasised the need for cross-sector collaboration.

“Adapting to the effects of climate change has become increasingly urgent and to make a real difference, we need collaborative action. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), we have only 12 years until the effects of climate change are irreversible. We know those estimations are now likely to be revised to outline an even more concerning picture,” said Ms Miller. Council had already commissioned its own report into the implications of Climate Change on the Queenstown Lakes District by Bodeker Scientific. “It’s compelling evidence that needs to be widely understood by the entire community but, in a nut shell, life will be wetter and warmer.”

QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen said the draft plan demonstrates bold leadership and sends a message to businesses and the community that QLDC is serious about addressing climate impacts.

“The draft plan is aligned to Vision Beyond 2050, and is the first of many climate action plans for our district. This plan speaks to what will be a significant investment into mitigation and adaption,” said Mr Theelen.

If the draft action plan is approved, the community will be notified in the coming weeks of key dates to provide feedback. Ms Miller said the meeting on Thursday would also be addressed by the group Extinction Rebellion ahead of adopting the draft plan.

“It’s great timing. This group will find a Council that has embraced the challenge presented by climate change and is well advanced in its planning to respond to this global crisis.”

To view a copy of the draft climate action plan, please visit: https://www.qldc.govt.nz/council-online/council-documents/agendas-and-minutes/full-council-agendas/2019-full-council-agenda/27-june-2019/

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