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Govt3 walking the talk on climate change

Hon David Benson-Pope
Minister for the Environment

Govt3 walking the talk on climate change

Environment Minister David Benson-Pope has announced new requirements for Govt³ agencies to lead the way in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and tackling climate change.

Speaking at the Govt³ awards ceremony this evening, Mr Benson-Pope said that climate change was the most urgent environmental challenge facing New Zealand and the world.

"Led by the Ministry for the Environment, the Govt³ programme shows government walking the talk on achieving financial, social, and environmental savings – all key tools in environmental sustainability and economic transformation," he said. " Every saving we make can be channelled into tackling the challenge of climate change".

Mr Benson-Pope said that Cabinet had asked all 47 Govt³ agencies to accelerate their work on sustainable building practices and vehicle fleet efficiency.

Agencies are now required to include sustainability criteria in tender documents for all new buildings and renovations. These will ensure waste minimisation during construction, energy efficient design, inclusion of recycling facilities, and accessible location for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport.

Govt³ agencies have also been asked to accelerate their work to use vehicle purchasing guidelines that improve economy and safety while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and to develop travel plans that promote walking, cycling, public transport, and ride-sharing to work.

Agencies with fleets of over 50 cars will be audited, and all agencies will be required to develop guidelines for reducing and offsetting the 'carbon footprint' of their travel impacts.

Mr Benson-Pope said that as Govt³ gained momentum, it was showing how individuals and organisations could make a real difference to environmental issues. "As with all the other Govt³ initiatives, the stronger focus on buildings and transport will lead wider changes across government and industry," Mr Benson-Pope said.

"The Labour-led Government is committed to improving New Zealand's environmental sustainability, addressing climate change, and reducing energy costs. Govt³ shows how we walk the talk in all these areas."

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