Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Targets

In the Council's Climate Change Action Plan, voluntary targets have been set for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Wellington city.

South coast clouds.

South Coast clouds

More than 94% of Wellington city's greenhouse gas emissions are produced from energy used in buildings and energy, land transport and aviation.

The following voluntary targets have been set for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in Wellington city:

  2020 2030 2040 2050
Wellington City target * 10% 40% 65% 80%
Wellington City Council target ** 80%

*Base year is 2001.
**Base year is 2014.

Moving towards a low carbon capital

Keeping count of Wellington’s greenhouse gases

The Wellington City Council’s 2016 Low Carbon Capital plan aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in a constructive and business-friendly way.

Essential to developing the plan is having information on where emissions come from. An inventory of emission sources helps us understand trends over time and how to best respond proactively to reduce emissions.

The Wellington 2050 Energy Calculator

Wellington City Council, in partnership with the National Energy Research Institute and Enspiral, developed The Wellington 2050 Energy Calculator to allow any member of the public to create a pathway to a low carbon future.

By varying 31 different levers linked to potential areas of action to reduce emissions, users can see the potential impact of each area on our carbon profile as a city. The calculator enables more informed choices and debate about the potential for carbon abatement in Wellington City.

The Wellington 2050 Energy Calculator

Corporate emissions

In 2014/15 Wellington City Council joined the Certified Emissions Management and Reduction Scheme (CEMARS) provided by Enviro-Mark Solutions. This scheme audits our corporate emissions and creates a certified baseline and trajectory towards lowering our council emissions in three-year blocks. After two years of CEMARS auditing, it forms a strong foundation the Council can build upon for the 'leading by example' pillar of our Low Carbon Capital Plan.

CEMARS certification summary (PDF 560KB)

2016 greenhouse gas inventory

Consultants AECOM New Zealand Limited were commissioned to update the greenhouse gas inventory for Wellington City Council and Greater Wellington Regional Council.

The 2016 report uses same research methods as the 2014 report, but several enhancements made to several areas of emissions measurement. Therefore the relative trends and the significance of individual emissions sources are best observed through the new 2016 update, as improvements in research methods have resulted in improvements back to 2000/2001 in each case.

2014 greenhouse gas inventory

Consultants URS New Zealand Limited were asked to develop an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions for the Wellington region by a consortium of councils – Wellington City Council, Porirua City Council, Hutt City Council, Upper Hutt City Council, Kāpiti Coast District Council, and Greater Wellington Regional Council. Here's the resulting report:

Purpose of the 2014 inventory

The 2014 report was commissioned by the councils:

  • to improve their understanding of the sources of greenhouse gas emissions and trends in the region and urban areas
  • to help identify actions they can take to mitigate this.

More broadly, the study helped inform strategic decision-making by the councils, and provided useful information to researchers, the business community, central government and Wellington residents.

The inventory sets out annual rates of greenhouse gas emissions for the Wellington region as a whole, with a breakdown by district. It measured greenhouse gas emissions from the following sectors:

  • stationary energy (eg electricity and gas)
  • transport (including domestic aviation)
  • industrial processes (such as gases used in refrigerators and air conditioning systems)
  • agriculture and waste.

The report also measured changes in the forestry sector.