Climate challenge issued to Lakes District Council

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Urgent action on the environment is needed, says Anna Simmonds, of Extinction Rebellion Queenstown Lakes.
She is encouraging the Queenstown Lakes District Council to follow the lead of about twelve councils across the country to sign a declaration recognising ‘‘we have a climate emergency on our hands’’.
Instead of talking about ‘‘change that we can discuss over time’’, the council needed to ‘‘treat it as the emergency it is’’, she said.
Nelson City Council and Christchurch City Council were two that had made a declaration. Dunedin City Council had been asked to make one but had not voted on it as yet, Ms Simmonds said.
‘‘There are 500 councils around the world who have already done it,’’ she said.
The group has been given an opportunity to speak to the council on June 27.
A council spokesman said that its policy and performance team began working on a draft Climate Action Plan late last year.
‘‘This draft action plan has been shaped by research, early feedback from the community [through the My Place facilitated workshops earlier in 2019] and through meetings with key community stakeholders.’’
The draft plan was scheduled to be presented to the council on June 27 and if approved, community engagement about the draft plan would be held in July and August.
‘‘The aim of the plan is to focus on taking action.’’
The plan would encourage collective action, guide decisions and actions over the next three years, and detail related work already under way across the various departments at the council, he said.