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Regional Council takes action on climate change
October 2015

The Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) has adopted a climate change strategy focused on strengthening the long-term resilience and sustainability of the Wellington region through action and awareness.

"We have realised that, in the absence of meaningful commitment from the Government, it is up to councils to take the lead in reducing emissions and preparing their communities for the challenge of adaptation," said GWRC chair Chris Laidlaw.

The strategy demonstrates GWRC is committed to working with the community, businesses and other councils in addressing potential impacts, reducing emissions and raising awareness about the very real challenges that lie ahead.

The strategy contains three overarching objectives:

Mitigation: GWRC will act to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) across all its areas of influence, including its own operations, helping to create the conditions for a smart, innovative, low-carbon regional economy

Adaptation: Risks from climate change-related impacts are managed, and resilience is increased, through consistent adaptation planning and actions based on best scientific information

Engagement and awareness: Community awareness of climate change mitigation and adaptation solutions increases and individuals and organisations know what they can do to contribute to the long-term resilience of the region.

The strategy is accompanied by an implementation plan that sets out actions GWRC will take to achieve tangible, measurable outcomes.

Mr Laidlaw says "many of the actions are currently underway, and we are looking forward to working with stakeholders from the community to progress a number of others. Those actions range from reducing the emissions associated with the Council's own operations, through to supporting energy efficiency, negotiating with public transport operators to achieve lower emission transport options, and ensuring we have up-to-date information about both the region's GHG emissions and the anticipated impacts of climate change".

GWRC has also been working with Wellington City Council, and both councils are keen to promote a region-wide collaborative approach which promises to be more effective than individual councils working in isolation. "A concerted, joined-up approach is an absolute no-brainer and I'm anxious to get on with it," said Chris Laidlaw.

The strategy and implementation plan are available at www.gw.govt.nz/climatechange

 
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