Christchurch should set itself a target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions – excluding methane – by 2045.
That is the view that Christchurch City Council’s Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee has reached after considering staff advice and public views on the issue.
“Achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 is an ambitious goal which will require the buy-in of the whole community," says Council Head of Strategic Policy Emma Davis.
“We’ve had strong feedback from residents that they want us to take a more ambitious approach than what is proposed nationally.’’
The Government’s Zero Carbon Bill sets the target of New Zealand having net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, excluding biogenic methane. The Bill is currently going through Parliament’s Select Committee process.
In July the Council, which is in the process of developing a new climate change strategy, asked residents if they wanted Christchurch to follow the Government’s proposed target or whether they wanted the city to set a more ambitious target.
The majority of the people who gave feedback to the Council favoured taking a more ambitious approach to emission reductions.
In a report considered by the Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee today, Council staff advised that while it was important the city reduced its greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, it needed to ensure it was done in a just way that supported the wider social, cultural, environmental and economic needs of the community.
After considering the findings and submissions, the Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee has recommended the Council adopt the following targets:
The committee recommended these targets be reviewed every three years and that consideration be given to bringing them forward at that time. It supports interim updates on achievement of the emission targets being made highly visible to the public.
The recommendations will go to the Council for consideration.
Committee Chair, Councillor Vicki Buck says reducing our greenhouse gas emissions is going to require us to reimagine the way we travel, generate energy, produce food, manage waste, develop agriculture, build infrastructure, and develop our city.
“We have to do things differently and rapidly reduce our emissions to prevent further global warming and disruption in the future.”