Hard on the heels of the Productivity Commission publishing its report on the transitioning of New Zealand to a low-emissions economy, Local Government New Zealand’s Climate Change Symposium in Wellington on Friday will discuss the challenges and opportunities of climate change facing New Zealand communities.
Supported by Deep South National Science Challenge, over 130 local government delegates, industry experts and central government officials will hear speakers discuss community engagement, options for adapting, adaptation funding, legal developments, and the importance of taking a linked approach to climate change adaptation and mitigation action.
“Local government has a critical role to play in ensuring that its communities are resilient to the impacts of climate change,” says LGNZ President Dave Cull.
“This symposium is an opportunity to explore the challenges of climate change adaptation and mitigation, solutions to those challenges and the work that councils across the country are doing to address climate change.”
The Climate Change Symposium’s 24 speakers go beyond science to include people such as Dr Huhana Smith, Head of School of Art, Massey University.
A full agenda can be found here.
Mr Cull says:
“Discussions will feed into LGNZ’s Climate Change Project, which seeks to provides councils with an evidence base to support a comprehensive framework for risk reduction and/or retreat; a comprehensive adaptation plan for New Zealand; and a local government view on emission reduction targets and how to achieve these.”
The Productivity Commission report, released yesterday, recommended a suite of policy reforms to help drive the transition, including a ‘feebate’ scheme to increase the uptake of electric vehicles and introducing emissions standards for newly-registered vehicles.
The New Zealand Herald’s report highlighted the commission’s call for New Zealand to quickly stop burning fossil fuels, plant vast amounts of forest – and switch to greener agriculture.
The Productivity Commission’s final report on how the country can shift to a low-emissions economy also called for emissions standards for newly registered vehicles, a “feebate” scheme to boost the uptake of EVs, and putting a price on gases from farms.
The commission’s findings were largely in line with those laid out in its draft report in April – but with some stronger calls in areas such as emissions, energy, land use and transport.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw was quoted as saying the report highlighted many areas the Government was already working on, such as establishing an independent Climate Commission.
The Government would respond to the report’s 173 findings and 78 recommendations “over the coming months”, he said.
The Science Media Centre gathered expert commentary when the draft report was released.