Environment Canterbury’s decision to declare a climate change emergency will only add another layer of bureaucracy and red tape to a complex issue, National's Local Government spokesperson Jacqui Dean says.

“National believe in a pragmatic, science-based approach to climate change, but hitting the panic button at a Local Government level isn’t going to achieve anything.

“To add to the confusion ECan Chief Executive Bill Bayfield has admitted that there is no single definition of what declaring a climate emergency actually means.

“It is up to Central Government to provide good policy direction on this issue, which is why National has worked hard with the Government on creating an enduring Climate Change Commission which will give science-based advice for successive governments.

“Local Government should be focusing on long term planning to mitigate factors such as coastal erosion, land movement due to earthquakes and changing weather patterns.

“This appears to be a case of Local Government trying to gain a headline in an election year.”

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