About 25 people braved the cold on Friday night to attend a screening of Thin Ice at Alexandra Community House, a documentary which tracks limate change research carried out in the Arctic and Antarctic regions.
The film features interviews with a range of climate scientists regarding their findings, and also conveys the need to reduce carbon emissions across the globe.
A panel discussion followed the screening, which was chaired by Thin Ice executive producer Peter Barrett, Centre for Space Science Technology ambassador Greg Bodeker, and National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research principle scientist for radiation Richard McKenzie.
Ideas in the discussion included installing a “dashboard” to monitor the town’s carbon emissions, as well as promoting competitions to encourage individuals to reduce their emissions.
The question-and-answer session also raised the importance of engaging young people in the political process, by lobbying members of Parliament to ensure environmental changes and ensuring they used their vote.
Dr Bodeker said it was also important to promote discussions at a local level to raise awareness about climate change.
If every individual reduced their emissions by 2%, there would be a noticeable improvement, he said.
“Everyone who should be watching this probably isn’t here . You get around that by speaking to your neighbours.”
Enviroschools facilitator Anna Robinson said the discussion was positive.
“We had some great conversations post documentary. People were quite engaged with the film.
“I do think it [climate change] is gaining a lot more profile.
“Even our local council are exemplifying some of those solutions too – they have a couple of electric vehicles.”
Grass-roots campaigns, such as Plastic-free July, were a great way for people to take further action to reduce their emissions and look after the planet, she said.
“Taking it from that global context and looking at what you can do as an individual .. Plastic-free July is a great place to start with that.
“We just need a little bit more cohesiveness at the grass-roots level.
“That’s the thing, we have all the technology. We have everything that we need in order to make that change to divest in fossil fuels. We actually just need to do it.”