Goal 1: Council will be a carbon neutral organisation by 2035
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is key to combating climate change, and slowing down the rate of global warming.
At a global scale, New Zealand is one of 197 countries signed up to the Paris Agreement. Adopted in 2015, the agreement commits countries to take action on climate change. Specifically, it aims to substantially reduce greenhouse gas emissions around the world, so the increase in global temperature is less than 2°C above pre-industrial levels. It also requires countries to look at ways to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C.
Each country in the agreement has been assigned a ‘Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)’. The NDC is a specific, relative goal for individual countries to achieve. New Zealand’s NDC is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030, and will apply from 2021. You can read more about the Paris Agreement and New Zealand’s responsibilities.
In order to meet the NDC deliverables, the New Zealand Government have responded by introducing a host of new initiatives that will assist us in reducing our greenhouse gases. These include:
So what does all of this mean for Upper Hutt? At Council, we have committed to being a carbon neutral organisation by 2035, 15 years ahead of the national target of 2050. Our plan is to reduce our emissions as much as we can, and offset remaining emissions through sequestration opportunities, such as planting and/or carbon credits.
Where to start?
Firstly, we need to understand what our emissions are, and where they’re coming from. Once we know that, we can manage them, and work towards minimising them. We have undertaken an organisation Greenhouse Gas Inventory(PDF, 702KB) for the 2018-2019 financial year that has given us a good indication of where we can make some changes.
We’re kicking things off by focussing on specific areas to begin with: the energy we use, our buildings, our fleet, and our procurement. We need to make sure that we are proactive in ensuring we are generating as few emissions as possible. Making good decisions now will help us have a more stable, dependable future.
Community carbon footprint
As a leader in the community, we encourage everyone to do what they can to minimise their carbon footprint. There are several ways to see what the opportunities are to reduce carbon:
- FutureFit can help you reduce your personal carbon footprint.
- Gen Less has some great tips to reduce your carbon footprint too.