Region-wide greenhouse gas emissions report next year

Sara Walton
Sara Walton
Otago's first region-wide greenhouse gas emissions report will be completed next year.

Otago Regional Council strategy manager Anne Duncan said the council received six proposals to complete the baseline study and was now in talks with a preferred consultant.

All five Otago territorial authorities had been approached and had agreed to work with the regional council, Ms Duncan’s report to the council’s strategy and planning committee said.

The Dunedin City Council and Queenstown Lakes District Council had already completed district level inventory reports, and the regional report would use that data.

Waitaki, Clutha, and Central Otago districts had also agreed to provide data.

Understanding Otago’s greenhouse gas emissions was the first step towards meaningful mitigation of the gases that trap heat in the atmosphere and contribute to climate change, Ms Duncan said.

The greenhouse gas inventory the regional council produced could be used as the basis for future region-wide collaboration.

It could also form the basis of any advocacy or other action taken by the regional council on behalf of Otago.

While there is a variety of emission estimation methods, a mixed method of production-based and consumption-based accounting, recommended by the Ministry for the Environment would be used in the coming report, she said.

The prospective baseline study was welcomed by He Kaupapa Hononga Otago’s Climate Change Network co-director Associate Prof Sara Walton, who said she would be interested in seeing what data was generated for the report.

"It is a useful thing to do, and the first start toward reducing our emissions is to understand where they are coming from," Prof Walton said.

"However, it will be important to not just measure but to also create some action towards reducing these emissions too — and quickly, as we have just 10 years to make a real difference."

New Zealand’s international targets emissions reductions targets include a 30% reduction below 2005 gross emissions for 2021-30.

Ms Duncan said a separate organisational footprint report for the regional council would be presented at the next council meeting.


I have mixed feelings about this. We already know where the emissions are coming from, agriculture, energy and industry. The aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions is to slowdown climate change. We should all act NOW in reducing our emmisions. Every action and decisions made by ourselves, our councils, businesses and government should prioritize that aim. While putting a number on our pollution will help to measure it, it will do nothing to reduce it and I fear many will use it as an excuse to do nothing.

Our journalists are your neighbours

We are the South's eyes and ears in crucial council meetings, at court hearings, on the sidelines of sporting events and on the frontline of breaking news.

As our region faces uncharted waters in the wake of a global pandemic, Otago Daily Times continues to bring you local stories that matter.

We employ local journalists and photographers to tell your stories, as other outlets cut local coverage in favour of stories told out of Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

You can help us continue to bring you local news you can trust by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter