Wellington City is in a good position to make a positive difference.
We may be small, but only 20% of people globally live in cities with population over 1 million - small places like Wellington have a huge role to play in solving our carbon problems. By establishing a position of leadership, we can give New Zealand and the world the best chance possible to stay in the climate "safe zone."
We currently have a target to reduce our year 2000 emissions by 80% by 2050. Unfortunately, that won’t do anything to combat the climate damage already here and on the way - fires, storms, and more already trouble the world. We need a more ambitious target, and we need to act faster. There are other capital cities in the world that have committed to achieving a zero carbon target, but we want Wellington to be first to reach that goal.
We think that Wellington’s advantages such as a highly educated populace, an already compact inner city, high use of public transport, and relatively low car ownership means this target is possible. We also believe our knowledge economy could be an engine for change - and benefit from solving these problems and sharing the solutions with the world.
And there is good motivation for this. We have a tremendous amount at risk. About $7 billion in property is at risk from sea level rise according to the latest guidance from the Ministry for the Environment - and our cherished spaces like Civic Square, the waterfront, and Waitangi park are at risk if we don't move emissions to zero.
But we need your views - your vision - on whether, how, and how fast you think we can make zero carbon a reality.