Kick the Carbon Habit

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As discussed yesterday, New Zealand—one of the first countries to pledge a carbon-neutral future—will be the main host of World Environment Day (WED), to be commemorated on Thursday.


This year’s global celebrations will focus on solutions and opportunities for countries, companies and communities to “kick the habit” and de-carbonize their economies and lifestyles. Measures include greater energy efficiency in buildings and appliances—from using the right light bulbs to making the switch to cleaner, renewable forms of electricity generation and transportation.

Events will also explore the role of forests in countering rises in greenhouse gases. An estimated 20% of emissions contributing to global climate change are a result of deforestation.

New Zealand, where forestry is an important industry and conservation a high priority, plans to use WED to highlight how technology and forestry management can help achieve domestic and international climate goals.

“As part of New Zealand’s drive for greater environmental sustainability, we've made a commitment to reduce our emissions,” says Prime Minister Helen Clark. “But to overcome the challenge of climate change, kicking the carbon habit must be a truly global goal…I look forward to learning about how other nations are addressing this challenge.”

“New Zealand is among a pioneer group of countries committed to accelerating a transition to a low-carbon and carbon-neutral economy,” adds Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and executive director of the United Nations Environment Program. “We are therefore delighted to be holding the main WED 2008 celebrations in Wellington and in communities across this South Pacific nation.”

Developed and developing countries stand to benefit environmentally, economically and socially from more efficient low-carbon technologies and strategies, Steiner notes.

“What we need is action to slow, stop and then to reverse the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions,” he says. “A transition to a low-carbon economy is essential to achieving this. Along the way we will see more rapid and widespread access to cleaner and greener energy, new job opportunities, and reductions in unhealthy urban and indoor pollution. WED is about positive perspectives on change, and this is what we hope to highlight in New Zealand.”

For information about WED activities in the United States and Canada, click here

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Editor’s Note: publishes environmental news so organic consumers have access to the latest information on climate change and other threats. You can view similar posts by visiting the Environment Section of our blog.

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