“Emissions reduced significantly during COVID-19, and even with travel and economic activity bouncing back we have still managed to reduce our emissions by an additional 1% in the past year. While there is much more to do, every bit of progress counts,” says Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.
Te Atakura - First to Zero update
“When I speak to residents, whether it’s business owners, students or parents, climate action is a top priority for them. The work Council is undertaking puts us in a good place to not only continue to reduce our emissions, but also adapt to a changing climate.
“The necessary scale and pace of change needs everyone, everywhere as quickly as possible. One of our enduring commitments is to provide leadership and collaboration, in partnership with iwi and the city. Systematic transformation is needed, from both the public and private sectors, alongside individual behaviour shifts.”
Over the past few years, Council’s work on reducing emissions has included the development of the bike network Paneke Pōneke, the launch of the Climate and Sustainability Fund that supports community action, changing glasshouse heating from gas to electricity at Wellington Botanic Garden ki Paekākā and more effective methane gas capture at the Southern Landfill.
Council also needs to increase its focus on the impacts of climate change. The Climate Adaptation Community Engagement Roadmap will develop solutions in collaboration with the capital’s most at-risk communities in the coming years, says Deputy Mayor Laurie Foon.
“We are now working to better understand local climate change impacts so we can make well-informed decisions on how best to adapt. Our new roadmap – alongside central government policy – will help guide us all on this journey,” she says.
Climate change is a key focus for mana whenua, and Council acknowledges their pivotal role as kaitiaki of Te Whanganui-a-Tara. Tākai Here, a partnership agreement between mana whenua groups and Council, sits alongside the 10-year Māori strategy Tūpiki Ora and provides a new way of working together so hapori Māori and all communities thrive.
Councillor Nīkau Wi Neera says one of the outcomes of this strategy is to ensure the social, cultural, environmental and economic wellbeing of Māori communities is prioritised, supported and invested in.
“Our intent is to develop our collaboration with, support for, and learning from mana whenua and Māori to achieve our shared aspirations around climate change response.”