Climate change  |  12 Sep 2019

Christchurch will have net zero greenhouse emissions - excluding methane - by 2045 if the city meets the target set by Christchurch City Council.

“We were among the first Councils in New Zealand to declare a Climate and Ecological Emergency and it is important that we back that declaration up by showing our strong commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,’’ says Council Head of Strategic Policy Emma Davis.

“The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill sets the target of New Zealand having net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, excluding biogenic methane, but the feedback we have received from our residents showed they want us to take a more ambitious approach.

“Today the Council has agreed that Christchurch should set itself the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions – excluding methane - by 2045.

“To ensure we stay on track to meet that target, we have set an interim target of achieving a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

“By 2030 we also want to see at least a 25 per cent reduction in methane emissions so that we can achieve at least a 50 per cent reduction in methane emissions by 2045,’’ Ms Davis says.

In 2016/17 Christchurch emitted an estimated 2,485,335 gross tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (t COe). That equates to 6.6 t COe per person. That is lower than per capita estimates for Auckland (7.9 t COe) and Dunedin (11 t COe) but more than Wellington (5.7 t CO2 e).

The largest contributor to Christchurch’s carbon emissions is transportation. It accounts for 53 per cent of carbon emissions.

Ms Davis says achieving the 2045 carbon neutral target is going to require the buy-in of the entire Christchurch community.

"We're all going to have to make changes; we are all going to have to play our part in reducing our emissions, but I'm confident that our communities are up for the challenge. This is an achievable target and by adopting it today we are showing that as a city we are committed to playing a strong role in combating climate change.''