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The Dunedin City Council has both adopted its zero-carbon plan and signalled a high-investment scenario is favoured.
Both the high and medium investment trajectories will go into the council's draft 2024-34 long-term plan for public consultation, and high investment will be listed as the preferred option.
The council voted 11-4 to adopt the plan. Against were Crs Bill Acklin, Kevin Gilbert, Lee Vandervis and Andrew Whiley.
Adopting the plan but signalling a preference for a low-investment scenario, suggested by Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich, was rejected. That vote was 9-5.
The vote was carried 9-5. Cr Whiley abstained.
In the yes column were Steve Walker, Jim O'Malley, Sophie Barker, Christine Garey, Mandy Mayhem, Marie Laufiso, David Benson-Pope, Carmen Houlahan and Kevin Gilbert.
Against were Lee Vandervis, Bill Acklin, Brent Weatherall, Mr Radich and deputy mayor Cherry Lucas.
A report would be requested about governance options for oversight of implementation.
Mr Radich's motion for low investment had been seconded by Cr Brent Weatherall.
"The main thing is that we do get started," the mayor said.
Mr Radich was in favour of improving public transport in the city to help curb carbon emissions. He was less sure better cycling infrastructure would get the desired results and said the most cost-effective methods would need to be pursued.
It would not be credible to put an extravagantly large amount of money into the plan, he believed.
"It's better to start slow and finish strong."
An extra area of public seating was laid out at the meeting venue this morning, because of so much interest in the zero-carbon item.
Speaker after speaker favoured both adoption of the plan and endorsement of a high-investment scenario, mostly aimed at transport emissions.
University of Otago climate scientist Abby Smith said this morning urgent action was needed.
"This is the time to secure our future, whatever it takes."
Responses to climate change were not big enough, brave enough or fast enough, Prof Smith said.
Dunedin Forest and Bird committee member Nigel Paragreen presented a petition signed by more than 500 people urging the council to adopt the plan and take meaningful action to reduce the city's emissions.
"The more effective we are at mitigating the impacts of climate change, the less we need to spend later trying to repair the mistakes of the past," he said.
Mr Paragreen said climate change was a global problem that required a global solution, but action was needed locally.
"When we take meaningful action in Dunedin, we are contributing to that global solution.
"Adopt the plan," Mr Paragreen said. "Invest heavily in the solutions your staff have identified."
"The whole council needs to buy into this work."
Any decision to endorse the plan but opt for low investment would amount to "not backing ourselves".
Seniors Climate Action Network representative Sue Novell urged the council to act quickly and to the maximum extent possible.
"Do not choose the cheap option. It will turn out to be the most expensive in the end."