A Wellington cyclist enjoying this alternative form of transport
The actions proposed will help us plan and prepare the city for the likely impacts of climate change, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The Council has been taking action on climate change since 2004. To do more to assist with this complex and difficult global challenge, we propose building on what's already been done and making the most of the city's advantages.
Wellington has some of the world's best potential for wind and marine energy generation. It has also long-recognised the benefits of preserving reserve areas for recreational purposes and, more recently, as a way of restoring the city's biodiversity and native ecology.
Other advantages are that the city is compact and easy to get around on foot, cycle or by public transport, and is home to several universities and research institutes with climate change expertise.
"We need to capitalise on those strengths," says Chris Cameron, the Council's Principal Climate Change Advisor. "We believe we are focusing on the right areas, but we want to hear what Wellingtonians think, so that the 2010 action plan is a shared vision."
The plan proposes a collaborative approach - continuing to reduce the emissions produced from Council facilities, vehicles and operations like the landfill and doing further research so we can make sure infrastructure, including roads, pipe networks and seawalls, can cope with rising sea levels and more severe storms. We propose providing encouragement and help so Wellington businesses and households can make a difference too.
We're looking at providing financial support so more businesses can reduce their waste and energy and water use through Greater Wellington Regional Council's eMission scheme. We're also looking at financial incentives to help more households install energy-efficient light bulbs, low-flow shower heads or hot water cylinder wraps, and a pilot programme to encourage the use of electric vehicles.
Chris says potential climate change impacts and ways to reduce emissions are a consideration in everything the Council does now, and the work we are doing will have benefits.
We're committed to spending $13 million over the next 10 years on improvements that will make it safer and more enjoyable to walk and cycle, a further $7 million expanding the city's bus lane network, and planning changes that will see the city grow along existing public transport routes.
With the help of more than 60 volunteer groups, we plant about 100,000 trees and shrubs a year. This helps remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
To find out more about the draft plan and what we're already doing on climate change, or make a submission, visit the Public Input section of this website, your library or phone (04) 499 4444.
Submissions are required by Monday 10 May.
A public meeting on the draft plan takes place tomorrow (21 April)
12 noon - 2.00pm in Te Mahanga Room (Committee Room 1), Wellington City Council offices, 101 Wakefield Street.