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Productivity Commission notes central leadership needed on climate change

Published: 9 August 2017

News type: National news   

Local Government New Zealand welcomes the release this morning of the Productivity Commission’s low emissions economy issues paper as another step towards greater action on climate change. 

The issues paper outlines the context for the Productivity Commission’s inquiry into how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of transitioning to a lower net emissions economy. 

In the paper the Commission says action to mitigate green house gas emissions will require real and significant changes which will have disruptive impacts for communities and businesses.  Delaying mitigation action will only make the transition policy choices more difficult and as such there is a need for central government direction. 

LGNZ President Dave Cull says the issues paper shows the Productivity Commission’s inquiry will build on LGNZ’s position in the recently released local government position statement on climate change, and the Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration 2017

“Climate change has been identified by local government as one of the highest priorities for the sector, with councils to play important roles in mitigating and particularly adapting to climate change impacts,” Mr Cull says.  “However we are going to need a joint approach between central and local government, industry and communities if we are to begin to see results on climate change, whether in reducing emissions or preparing for its impacts. 

“Climate change is a problem of national scale in need of a collaborative, national response, and it looks as though the Commission will address that in it’s work.” 

In its position statement LGNZ seeks to establish clear guidelines on climate change responsibilities, for government at all levels, the private sector and individuals, including where the costs of adapting to climate change will fall.  It also highlights the need for a national education campaign to raise awareness and promote actions to support the reduction of green house gas emissions. 

Mr Cull says LGNZ supports a clearer pathway to a low carbon economy. 

“We welcome the inquiry which will provide a clearer indication of responsibilities and requirements for emissions reductions.  Local government is ready to do its bit but we need a good, agreed strategy to ensure we get the results we need.”

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