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Climate Action Plan To Be Considered

Queenstown Lakes District Councillors will be asked to adopt a Climate Action Plan at the full Council meeting on Thursday 12 March.

QLDC Chief Executive Mike Theelen said the draft plan has been developed following many months of expert advice and community engagement and sends a strong message that QLDC is serious about, and committed to, addressing climate impacts.

“The draft plan is aligned to Vision Beyond 2050 and demonstrates bold and progressive leadership on behalf of our community, who have told us very clearly through the Quality of Life survey results and feedback on earlier drafts that they are concerned about the effects of climate change on our district,” Mr Theelen said.

The mandate from Council to prepare a Climate Action plan was given in late 2018, and early engagement on climate change issues were captured as part of the My Place workshops completed throughout the district in February and March 2019. There were also focus groups held with local climate experts, iwi and key stakeholders. The draft plan was then published and community feedback gathered during August 2019, and a number of workshops held with Councillors. Tomorrow, Council is being asked to adopt the plan.

“The plan is Council’s first step to formally address a Climate Action programme, and is a very positive beginning. The proposed Draft 2020-2021 Annual Plan will seek additional funding to help implement the plan, as will the next Ten Year Plan in 2021. The Climate Action Plan highlights that we have a big role to play alongside the initiatives and decisions of Central Government, businesses, and a myriad of individual action. A collaborative and cross-sector approach is required, as is an open mind to how the outcomes and actions identified in the plan are delivered. Much will depend on developing strong networks and identifying effective initiatives,” Mr Theelen said.

The overall goals for the district highlighted in the Climate Action Plan are to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and to be resilient to the local impact of climate change across the whole district.

A number of high-level outcomes have been identified in the Climate Action Plan including developing transformational options for net-zero emissions public transport, supporting a climate responsive built environment and infrastructure, and working to ensure our communities are climate-conscious and resilient.

If adopted, early actions will include establishing an independent, multidisciplinary Climate Reference Group tasked with agreeing priority action areas, systematically embedding climate change risks and considerations into all Council decision-making processes, setting targets and measures for success, and strengthening local networks to progress community initiatives.

The draft Climate Action Plan and agenda report are available to download on the QLDC website: www.qldc.govt.nz/your-council/council-documents/agendas-minutes/full-council

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