The New Zealand government has released guidance for local and regional officials and planners to align their actions with the country’s climate change goals.
According to James Shaw, NZ minister of climate change, it is now a legal requirement for local governments to consider the government’s National Adaptation Plan and Emissions Reduction Plan when preparing or changing regional policy statements, regional plans, and district plans under the Resource Management Act.
As a result, consents for large projects can be declined if they have significant climate change implications that do not comply with the Zero Carbon Act.
“This new guidance will help central and local governments work together to put our climate plans into action as we make the transition to a low-emission, resilient future that benefits everyone,” Shaw said. “Over the last four years this government has laid the foundations for climate action in every part of Aotearoa.”
According to Shaw, the Emissions Reduction Plan, which was released in May, is a blueprint to reduce carbon emissions for the good of the environment and the community. The National Adaptation Plan will provide communities with the information needed to prepare for the inevitable impacts of climate change.
“Up and down the country, communities want more information and support as they take steps to cut emissions and prepare for climate impacts,” Shaw said. “The guidance released today will provide this support and help guide local governments towards a low carbon, climate-resilient future for the communities they represent.”