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Is this the start of ECan's courageous leadership?

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Environment Canterbury (ECan) was the first NZ council to declare a climate emergency on Friday, 16 May after sustained pressure and engagement from Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi (XRO), School Strike for Climate, Fossil Free Aoraki and many other activist and community groups.

The climate emergency declaration is symbolic with no legislative weight, however ECan are now publicly committed to considering the urgency of climate change in all of their decisions.

XRŌ Spokesperson Selina Clare says "This declaration is a clear, strong signal to local and national government to follow suit and recognise the current climate and ecological emergency.

The next steps are carbon neutrality by 2025, and mass ecological regeneration guided by participatory democracy."

Clare goes on to say "Extinction Rebellion will hold ECan accountable to the big changes necessary to reduce emissions in Canterbury."

"We’re a farming region but we need to dispel the myth that this means we can’t act on climate change. Regenerative farming practices are demonstrating huge potential for capturing carbon in our soils whilst restoring biodiversity, flood and drought resilience. Environment Canterbury can provide leadership in this."

"ECan councillors stated they’ve been doing alot so far to adapt to climate change, however Cantabrians only see river quality decline and more land converted to intensive dairy farming, increasing methane and nitrates. We need to support everyone to adapt to climate change, including dairy farmers." Clare finishes.

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