The key elements we want to pursue outside of the core areas of transport and building energy are ones that can support better choices - calculators that support individual choice and school education, new types of inventory to better our understanding, and supporting small businesses who have zero carbon ideas. But there is one key activity that should not be undersold. Figuring out the best model for planting carbon sinks on both public and private land will be essential and needs to be done quickly, then put in place.
Every four years Wellington City Council is required to conduct an inventory of all greenhouse emissions emitted within the city boundaries according to an international standard. The Council has been a leader in this area, and will continue to lead in this area among Australasian Councils. The Council will continue to partner with other local authorities in our region whenever possible.
The Council will produce a consumption based greenhouse gas inventory that indicates not just the level of emissions from producers in Wellington, but the emissions from products we consume.
The Council’s FutureFit behaviour change app is a personal carbon calculator that includes the ability to choose actions to reduce your carbon - and be reminded by text to do them. We invited our partners at Auckland Council to contribute to a collaborative outcome. Having tried it out with staff, we’re quite excited to deploy it over the next year. All in all, getting the right information in individual’s hands for them to make Low-Carbon decisions is an exciting opportunity.
For four years now the Council has supported both the Low Carbon Challenge and the Climathon. As founder and core funder of the Low Carbon Challenge, we have lifted idea stage businesses up to exciting opportunities year after year. As a co-host of the annual Climathon with Victoria University of Wellington, we have presented a fixed opportunity for the community to come together once a year and apply their mind to the exciting low carbon possibilities.
Inspired by FutureFit, a group of young innovators in Wellington’s Smart Seeds program run by GHD developed the concept for Torokiki – a carbon calculator and reduction competition for schools. In partnership with an energy company and potentially the education and environment sector, we aim to make the competition a reality.
In the Wellington Resilience Strategy, the Council committed to developing an understanding of what a Sustainable Food Network could deliver. A lower carbon culinary arena in Wellington benefits us not just from an environmental standpoint, but also delivers health and resilience co-benefits. The network is currently being developed, starting with initiatives such as Sustainable Food Forums to regularly bring together groups working towards sustainable food goals across Wellington.
Despite its compact urban form, Wellington has substantial rural areas suitable for planting with trees to create carbon sinks. Determining the most appropriate way to incentivise planting privately held land will be done in conjunction with planting out our own significant land holdings where possible. It is also necessary to understand what balance between native and exotic tree species is most appropriate to promote biodiversity and conservation co-benefits while seriously seeking a lower carbon future –for private and public lands. While natives are key for a lot of reasons, exotics sequester much more carbon and can be planted alongside natives.
An investigation into how the city can support low income households to adopt environmentally sustainable practices to reduce inequalities between different communities as the city moves to the Zero carbon model.