Local Leaders Ready To Respond To Climate Emergency Declaration
Leaders in local government are ready to respond to the NZ declaration of climate emergency (see text below) in many ways, including urgent support for a better-educated community.
“Action on reducing carbon emissions, reducing waste and adapting our homes to changing climate requires public know-how and confidence to change. It’s a set of future living skills for a long emergency”, says Rhys Taylor from Sustainable Living Education Trust. The charitable trust is run by 14 member Councils including Hamilton, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch and Dunedin cities.
Their shared website sustainableliving.org.nz provides free guides to action at home, which are used by individuals across New Zealand and also in group classes. The tutors or facilitators for groups are supported with additional information in member council areas. A grant from Waste Minimisation Fund of the Ministry for Environment in 2019-2020 helped to open access nationwide.
“Few local councils can afford to employ staff teams of educators on sustainability, so sharing resources and training both community volunteers and part-time professional facilitators makes sense” says Taylor, the Trust’s National Coordinator, who reports that trustees meeting by Zoom today have welcomed Central Government’s declaration of climate emergency.
Rural communities with smaller councils in Sustainable Living Education Trust include: Hauraki, South Taranaki, Masterton and Carterton, Kapiti Coast, Marlborough, Tasman, Waimakariri and Timaru Districts.
“Using the internet for communication allows us to distribute the writing and updating of materials from a rural base in (the South Canterbury town of) Geraldine, rather than having to be in the capital, and to make the learning guides freely available nationwide at our own website, even during Pandemic lock-downs. We also publish local sustainability information and contacts there, for many of the member councils, and will add more.”