$250,000 for climate plan suggestions

Investment in reducing transport sector emissions was deemed the highest priority to achieve the...
Investment in reducing transport sector emissions was deemed the highest priority to achieve the council’s Zero Carbon 2030 target. Photo: ODT files
A $250,000 "rapid review" of Dunedin’s climate emissions and potential solutions recommends the city council prepares a further climate change plan.

The climate 2030 review, carried out by Coffey Services (NZL) Ltd, focused on climate change mitigation and adaptation the Dunedin City Council could undertake.

The 110-page report suggested "quick wins" and next steps for the council in each of its main sectors.

Investment in reducing transport sector emissions was deemed the highest priority to achieve the council’s Zero Carbon 2030 target.

The study paid particular attention to transport, the sector where emissions were highest (39% of total emissions).

The report identifies reducing the kilometres travelled by people, increasing sustainable modes of transport, more efficient car use, and increasing use of lower emission cars as potential ways of reducing emissions.

Increasing housing density, making transport part of land use planning, increasing the cost of parking in the central city and flexible working practices would encourage a "mode shift" to get people out of cars, and reduce people’s mileage.

Quick wins included more public transport, introducing "tactical urbanism" to slow road traffic, and encouraging council staff to undertake alternative transport like e-bikes.

Event locations that people could walk, bike or bus to should be encouraged, the review said.

Next steps for the transport sector comprised making the council’s car fleet electric, removing minimum parking requirements from the district plan, investigating commuter travel between Dunedin and Mosgiel, and developing of a parking strategy for the city which supported modes of transport other than single-occupancy cars.

In the waste and energy sector, suggestions included diverting organic waste from the landfill and council electrifying its rubbish collection vehicles.

Quick wins for reducing emissions in the waste sector were practically impossible without detailed analysis, it said, but establishing a means to separate organic waste when designing the new landfill was a suggested next step.

Carbon offsetting and carbon insetting were mentioned as options to explore.

"For a community to become net zero carbon and resilient to the effects of climate change presents an extremely difficult challenge. It requires a paradigm shift in response to a problem that still feels somewhat distant in comparison to the day-to-day and near term concerns of most communities."

The review’s final recommendation was the council should prepare a climate change programme plan.

This could include more specific reductions targets and a timeline for climate change mitigation, including interim targets and offsetting targets, as well as potential costs.

The council should prioritise mitigation initiatives, and develop measures to track its progress, it said.

Councillors last month approved six full-time positions in its draft budgets for its 2021-31 plan to continue its carbon neutral work programme.

emma.perry@odt.co.nz


 

Comments

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"Tactical urbanism" - this council's transport dept has been doing this over the last 3-4 years, not by design but incompetence.

250,000 ratepayer dollars for a rapid review that recommends the DCC make a plan?

250,000 ratepayer dollars to be told that if the DCC makes the city as car unfriendly as possible (tactical urbanism), then they can effectively bully - those same ratepayers - into using alternative modes of transport?

250,000 ratepayer dollars for a report that could've been done by any third-year university student ... and the DCC still can't clear weeds from our gutters?

Unbelievable.

An easy way to cut down on vehicle emissions is to sync the various lights around our main arterial roads to ensure a free flow of traffic. The stop/start nature of the traffic due to a lack of syncing (or syncing to ensure through traffic always has to stop) increases emissions.

I believe the council is taking completely the wrong approach to the climate emergency and this report is a waste of money.
- The council must first get their own organisation in order- including the companies it owns - for example reducing office space and transport with more people working at home.
- The climate and environmental impact must be at the fore of every decision they make, for example the carbon cost of George St upgrade.
- Prioritising projects for climate adaption, for example emergency response management.
The task of reducing emissions from transport, energy and industry should be left to central government while all individuals, companies and organisations are encouraged to take personal responsibility for their own carbon and environmental footprints.

How do they justify $250k on this? $250k is like 2 years salary of an 'expert'. I can't imagine it would take an expert more than one week to come up with these suggestions. No wonder our rates are increasing.

There are people poor and homeless, but the council would rather give our rates to produce 110 pages of drivel or to build houses for themselves while increasing the cost/rent for its citizens through rates increases - complete joke.

Forget the "airy fairy" spend on public transport and "tactical urbanism" because no matter what is implemented locally it will have ZERO change on upcoming sea rises ... we know that and have to acknowledge that.

Dunedin council has a major problem that they are ignoring - specifically the fact that no matter what NZ does as a whole to mitigate carbon levels the sea levels are projected to rise significantly.

Dunedin council would therefore be better served by spending money on specific climate adaptation infrastructure to prevent future flooding of South Dunedin.

Spending money on generic reports with current catchphrases from desk bound consultants will not fix anything. Actually putting in flood mitigation infrastructure WILL provide resilience.

Stop talking - start taking action.

The "highest priority" to help tackle global change....
Quite laughable when you consider New Zealand's past efforts have added a paltry 0.1% to climate change.
When the DCC rids our city of all vehicles, I'm sure the entire world will celebrate.

My plan would be, instead of throwing Billions of dollars at something that is likely never going to change, into learning to adapt to it instead. Oh, and stop breading too folks!
Almost 75% of 184 Paris Agreement pledges were judged insufficient to slow climate change; Only 28 European Union nations and 7 others will reduce emissions by at least 40% by 2030

China & India, top emitters, will reduce emissions intensity, but their emissions will increase
U.S., second top emitter, has reversed key national policies to combat climate change

And, almost 70 percent of the pledges rely on funding from wealthy nations for their implementation

I agree that the council should prioritise adaptions to climate change, however it is vitally important that we all reduce our carbon footprint. As individuals, Kiwis are some of the worst polluters in the world and if nobody else does anything we will be on course for a climate that humans will be unable to adapt too by the end of the century.
Population growth is not the problem - it's consumption, with the top consumers being a small proportion of all citizens, which includes nearly all New Zealanders.

All consultants know that to get repeat business from the DCC, it doesn't matter too much what they say - as long as they include plenty of variations on "make the city hostile to motorists, reduce parking, use remaining parks for rates augmentation aka disguise how much you're paying for consultants".

six full time positions?? The rest of the Council departments are crying out for more staff, yet cant get approval. This smacks of Green party duplicity

This is virtue-signalling nonsense.

We don't even have a safe water supply, yet this council is intent on harrassing motorists even more, making our commutes slower and wasting more petrol due to traffic waiting times!

This is short-sighted and wasteful.

Bring on the council elections!

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