Don't exit Kyoto pact - Maharey
Massey University vice-chancellor Steve Maharey is urging the Government to stick with the Kyoto Protocol.
He responded to speculation that the Government could walk away from the international effort to cut carbon emissions, despite Climate Change Minister Simon Bridges' assurance no decision has been made.
"If Kyoto is not working, the thing to do would be to fix it, not walk away," said Mr Maharey.
He was speaking yesterday at the re-signing of a Palmerston North City Council and Massey University agreement to work toward a "zero-waste" goal.
Mr Maharey said any moves to pull out of the international protocol were at odds with growing recognition that cutting waste and recycling more were essential.
"These things really are not a choice. But that's not embedded in everyday thinking yet."
It meant the university and city council had a leadership role to play in education and in the practice of living in a more environmentally sustainable way.
Mr Maharey said it was time to move away from the mantra that zero-waste efforts were designed to save the planet.
"Actually, the planet does not care."
Instead, it was about living better right now, with real savings to be made for both households and businesses, with examples mounting that what was good for the environment provided returns for business and made life better for people.
The renewal of the council and university memorandum of understanding builds on a 10-year relationship that created the Zero Waste Academy.
During that time both organisations have been working to eliminate waste in their own operations.
They are also working on ways that academic research and education can help solve practical issues for the city.
Zero Waste Academy co-ordinator Jonathon Hannon said while the founding principles remained sound, the importance of relevant research, education and training on real-world problems would be stronger in future.
The university had a post-graduate course in zero waste for sustainability, Mr Hannon would be undertaking a doctorate project to assist the council, and student researchers would work on "living lab" solutions to issues the council grappled with.
It had also encouraged development of some of the 22 recycling industry qualifications that had been set up in the past decade.
The city council spends $30,000 a year on the project. Reaffirmation of the agreement coincides with the close of submissions on the council's draft waste management and minimisation plan today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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