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Council response to climate change

6 Jun 2019

Council response to climate change

Gisborne CBD aerial harbour view NR3

Council has committed to a region-wide, collaborative approach to address the local causes and impacts of climate change.

The Future Tairawhiti committee today agreed on the comprehensive approach, which includes strategic adaptations to core Council infrastructure and internal policies to reduce and mitigate Council’s own greenhouse gas emissions.

Taking a regional leadership role provides the framework for council to align with central Government and community organisations to transition to a low carbon economy and the effects of climate change.

It’s likely climate change will bring warmer temperatures, more extreme weather patterns and rising sea levels - all of which will have environmental, social, economic and cultural impacts.

Issues such as drought, water security and flooding are expected to become more severe, and existing challenges for the region around coastal erosion and sedimentation may be exacerbated.

This year has seen increased public debate on the urgent need for government action in response to climate change. Two other councils have declared region wide climate change emergencies.

Today’s decision is Council’s first formal confirmation of its role in relation to climate change.

The direction will be incorporated into a more detailed climate change response following the anticipated adoption of the Spatial Plan later this year.

Director of transformation and relationships, Keita Kohere says a focus on future proofing and resilience building is needed for council functions and operations.

“Through the Spatial Planning workshops completed so far, the community signalled a clear desire for Council to take a leadership role in climate change.

“It is widely accepted internationally that the costs of inaction or delayed action outweighs the cost of acting now.”