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<< Back to: Member News: ICLEI e-News | issue 8, June - July 2007

Climate change work in Environment Waikato focuses on mitigation and adaptation

November 14, 2007

Environment Waikato (New Zealand) is undertaking a wide range of measures to help adapt to the effects of climate change, and to lessen human contributions to the problem.

Examples of current Environment Waikato’s activities that will or may contribute to reduced carbon emissions include:

  • a Regional Energy Strategy which promotes energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy;
  • a new policy on geothermal energy which resulted in several major electricity companies announcing geothermal investments worth more than $US 2 million ($NZ 2.6 million); and
  • an expanded bus service and the promotion of more rail freight through infrastructure improvements.
  • Additionally, Council activities that help remove carbon from the atmosphere include:
  • river catchment planting to help retain soil and organic matter on the land;
  • promoting forestry on steep and erodible soils; and
  • pest control that helps protect carbon-storing forests.

A range of other activities help communities adapt to climate change.  These include biosecurity projects to manage organisms that become pests as climatic conditions alter, coastal hazard planning that takes rising sea levels into account, and improved planning for river flooding.  Also, the council is stepping up the amount of information it has on the region’s water resources.

More and more cities are facing the need to mitigate climate change while already adapting to the changes brought about by climate change.  ICLEI’s Cities for Climate Protection® (CCP) Campaign is an innovative international campaign that helps local government and their communities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the environment.   And now, the CCP Campaign is launching the Adaptation Initiative, building capacity for climate change impacts at the local level.  For more information, please visit www.iclei.org/ccp.

Environment Waikato is one of 10 local governments in New Zealand that are currently Members of ICLEI - Local Governments for Sustainability.  For more information on ICLEI and its activities in the Oceania Region, please visit www.iclei.org/oceania.

Source:  ‘Climate change big focus of Environment Waikato’, Environment Waikato press release, 20 September 2007.

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