Smart Action Plan Helps to Tackle Climate Change

12 September 2013

Wellington City’s 2013 Climate Change Action Plan approved today reaffirms the City Council’s lead role in local efforts to address climate change.

The updated action plan, approved by City Councillors, extends and improves initiatives from the award-winning 2010 climate change plan and introduces new ones to help the city reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and improve its resilience to climate impacts in ways that achieve further benefits for the city.

Wellington Mayor Celia Wade-Brown says Wellington City’s vulnerability to droughts and extreme storms has been driven home in the past year, and we have just experienced the warmest winter on record. Climate change will have an even greater impact on the city in coming years.

“For Wellington to thrive in the future and reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, we need to work together as a city to safeguard our quality of life, our economic development and our resilience to extreme weather events and sea-level rise.

“Achieving the transformational benefits from the action plan we’ve agreed to today will require major shifts in behaviour and investment across the city. Its success will depend not just on government but also on businesses and households.”

New initiatives in the 2013 Climate Change Action Plan include the Smart Energy Capital fund, whereby the Council will co-fund projects that reduce energy use and create other benefits, such as health and economic development. For example, the Council’s contribution this year of $100,000 to Warm Up NZ: Heat Smart is leveraging investment of $650,000 from EECA and other partners to insulate low-income homes, with an expected benefit/cost ratio of 3.6 due largely to health benefits as well as energy savings.

Wellington is also well positioned to take a leading role as a centre of excellence for urban planning, resilience and ecological sustainability.

The Council will also be supporting more compact development in the city and finding more ways to reduce vehicle emissions through the refresh of the Wellington Transport Strategy.

In the coming year, the Council will be launching major engagement with businesses and communities, seeking investment and new partnerships, and public support and commitment to action.

“The information in the Climate Change Action Plan forms a good starting platform. We need to find cost-effective ways to make our homes and buildings more energy efficient, increase renewable energy generation such as wind and solar, shift to low-carbon transport and alternative fuels, and enhance our forests through more tree planting and pest management..

“We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets, and to achieve these we’ll need to work closely with regional and central government, and advocate for improving policies at the national level.

“The actions we take now on addressing climate change will ensure that Wellington is a truly smart Capital for future generations,” says Mayor Wade-Brown.