Local Government New Zealand agrees with the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment’s statement today that climate change is the “ultimate intergenerational issue” and requires a cross-party response that will outlive governments.
LGNZ President Dave Cull says the recommendations outlined in Dr Jan Wright’s report, Climate change, progress, and predictability, particularly the creation of an independent climate change commission to provide advice to the Government and greater scrutiny of emissions targets, are welcomed.
“Our emissions continue to rise and as a country we need to take some significant strides forward on climate change,” Mr Cull says. “Unless we put in place some mutually agreed targets and agreed actions and hold ourselves to them we won’t start to see results.”
This week LGNZ released its Local Government Position Statement on Climate Change which says climate change is a problem of national scale in need of a collaborative, national response.
“Creating an independent climate change commission will help us develop a robust, cross-party approach to climate change,” Mr Cull says. “Climate change is a multi-decade issue and our responses need to be as well. This report provides further argument that we need to be doing more, and we need to be doing it faster.”
In the 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. An independent entity would provide certainty for planning, monitoring and reporting for both mitigation and adaptation.
LGNZ also called for a national campaign to raise awareness and promote mitigation and adaptation actions individuals and communities can take, and a joint response between local and central government to climate change.
“We join Dr Jan Wright in calling for responsive leadership and urgent action,” Mr Cull says.
“The recommendations made by the Commissioner are also consistent with the acknowledgement in the Local Government Leaders Declaration of the important need to address climate change now, for the benefit of current and future generations.”