I was elected as Thames-Coromandel representative on the Waikato Regional Council on an election platform for the need to take strong action in response to the climate crisis. I am therefore thrilled that Regional Council has unanimously agreed that an assessment of climate change implications will be required in the preparation of all relevant reports to the council.
Council reports will need to include a summary of how climate change has been considered in relation to reducing greenhouse gases and increasing community resilience, and what the council might do to reduce emissions or build greater resilience. All staff will be given training on the latest climate change science, the relevant law and policies, and how to implement the climate change decision-making framework.
See here for the Report presented to WRC on the Climate Change Decision Making Framework
Climate change is already one of council’s big strategic priorities. This new decision-making framework will build on other groundbreaking decisions taken by the new Climate Action Committee such as the commitment to reduce Council’s own in-house emissions by 70% by 2030, and the production of a greenhouse gas emissions profile for every district in the Waikato.
The Climate Action Committee is also working on a “Climate Action Roadmap” which will set out priorities for climate action across Regional Council’s various activities. The Roadmap is expected to be approved in August 2020.
Recent events such as the damaging coastal flooding in 2018, and the recent record-breaking drought confirm what scientists have been warning us for decades about climate change impacts. Thames-Coromandel is an area of high risk from climate change impacts and will have to play an important part together with every district in emission reduction activities.