Winter Weather

The Kapiti Coast District Council says it intends to become ‘carbon zero’ by 2025 following a unanimous vote at Thursday’s Council meeting.

Mayor K. Gurunathan says the commitment to reduce the Council’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero comes on top of the Council declaring a climate change emergency and supports the three year focus of the Toitū Kapiti Long term plan 2018-38 to provide an effective response to climate change.

“Now is the time to act. Climate change is one of the key environmental, social and economic challenges facing our nation and we can no longer sit on our hands,” he said.

“Setting a target is the first step to improving the Council’s environmental resilience and sustainability and I urge the Greater Wellington Regional Council, who play a significant role in our district, to follow suit.”

In making the case for change, Cr Howson said: “We owe it to our community, and future generations, to be leaders in addressing the challengers of the climate crisis.”

“To those who say that it’s futile, that anything we do is just a drop in the ocean, it’s your ocean and it’ll be coming to your backyard soon.

“The science is incontrovertible. Anyone around this table who doubts the seriousness of the crisis, you’re at the wrong council table,” he said.

According to its media release, the next step for the Council will be to assess its existing Emission Management and Reduction Plan and to look at, and cost, what additional measures it needs to put in place to reduce its carbon footprint.

What that last comment means in practice is unclear, although the only obvious things the council could do are:

  • Replace any gas central heating or cooking devices with electric ones
  • Replace its fleet of internal combustion vehicles with electric vehicles when they are due for replacement.  As we observed in 2016, electric vehicles cost a lot more, but have great fuel economy.
  • Not burn any trash, unless it can be used to create electricity.

Science that may be ‘incontrovertible’ depends a lot on who it comes from.  See earlier posts on the subject.

However, all reductions in emissions from petrol/diesel powered vehicles will reduce air pollution in some small way — and more importantly, will reduce oil imports from Saudi Arabia — so are welcome.