Climate change  |  11 Apr 2019

Two climate change groups have urged Christchurch City Council to take urgent action to reduce the city’s carbon emissions.

Members of the group Extinct Rebellion calling for climate change action.

The group Extinct Rebellion want Christchurch City Council to do more to combat global warming.

The Council has already set itself a target of becoming carbon neutral by 2030 but during the public participation section of today’s Council meeting, Extinction Rebellion Ōtautahi Christchurch and the Christchurch School Strike 4 Climate team begged the Council to do more.

Outlining the dangers of continued global warming, Julie Downard, from Extinction Rebellion, told the Council it needed to declare a climate emergency and act accordingly.

“You are in a position of influence; Council has a big role to play in reducing carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels. Don’t leave it to central Government.’’

Students Mia Sutherland and Ciara Foley, from the School Strike 4 Climate team, told the Council their future was dependent on the actions they took over the coming years.

The world was heading to “global catastrophe’’ and urgent action was needed.

Students Ciara Foley and Mia Sutherland.

Students Ciara Foley and Mia Sutherland.

“If you don’t make drastic changes, what happens next will be irreversible,’’ Ciara said. “We want you to do all we can to protect the Canterbury environment and to reduce carbon emissions.’’

“The slower you choose to act, the more you will spend to fix it and the more you will be putting us at risk,’’ Mia told the Council.

Cr Vicki Buck, who chairs the Council’s Innovation and Sustainable Development Committee, said the Council had a Climate Change Strategy and was in the process of setting a net carbon neutral target for Christchurch as a whole later this year.

“Everything Extinction Rebellion and the Christchurch School Strike 4 Climate Team said to us this morning was right. We do face a climate emergency and it is going to be up to all of us, definitely including  the Council, to take action to avoid climate catastrophe,’’ Cr Buck said.

“It was great to see so many members of the community demanding action.’’