RE-BLOG: Last to Zero?

by Benoit Pette In August last year, the Wellington City Council declared a climate emergency, and released a blueprint outlining intentions and objectives to make the city carbon neutral by 2050. With a 30 year horizon, it was hard to get past the irony of the program name “Te Atakura, First to Zero.” Hopefully, by then, Wellington will not be first to zero, as many cities will have reached that goal much earlier. But it was a start, and intentions were clearly laid out. There was therefore a lot of anticipation about the implementation plan, meant to articulate how we planned to achieve these targets. But despite the climate emergency, there hasn’t yet been much sign of urgency. It wasn’t till one year later (on August 6 2020), that the implementation plan was released, without any media announcement. So it was mostly unnoticed, which might have been intentional – the document is 55 pages long and its lack of ambition is shocking when considering what’s at stake. It’s empty of real actions that could change the course of Wellington’s greenhouse gas emissions and ensure the city does its part to mitigate climate change. What should we have been able to expect from the Read More …

BLOG: MORE AND MORE WELLINGTONIANS ARE BECOMING CONCERNED ABOUT THE PROPOSED AIRPORT EXTENSION

Opposition to the proposed runway extension is growing if attendance at the recent Guardians of the Bays information evening is anything to go by. A diverse range of groups, from business, community, recreational and environmental organisations are asking questions to peel away the public relations spin around the ill-conceived, expensive airport extension proposal. Groups as diverse as Forest & Bird; various Residents’ Associations; Wellington businesses; Save the Basin; the Surfbreak Protection Society; Hue te Taka Society; OraTaiao: The NZ Climate & Health Council; the Wellington Underwater Club; 350.org and the Green Party, to name a few, were represented at last week’s meeting. It quickly became clear that everyone present was deeply concerned at the spin being put out by the airport company, and the potential cost it will have to ratepayers and taxpayers, and of course to the beautiful Wellington south coast. The meeting was MCed by Bishop Richard Randerson, who has national standing for his work in faith-based and place-based communities. He made it clear that an airport extension does not make Wellington more progressive, particularly when the ratepayers and taxpayers are being asked to subsidise one of New Zealand’s wealthiest companies. Dr Sea Rotmann, co-Chair of the Guardians Read More …

RE-BLOG Adam Voulstaker: Desolation of Smog

To the sound of bugles bicycle bells, the Council Annual plan 2016-2017 arrived yesterday. Link: Council 2016 – 2017 Annual Plan Wrapped up with the 2015-2016 proposal is the “Draft Low Carbon Capital Plan,” where we minions get until 29th April to hand in our feedback. “2016 Low Carbon Capital Plan – adoption of a plan to reduce emissions in a constructive and business-friendly way. The plan details how the Council plans to reduce carbon emissions in the city and from Council operations.” Link: 2016 Draft Low Carbon Capital Plan Open up the Low Carbon plan and you get an angel riding a bicycle. I think it’s an angel, I can’t be sure from that angle. They do appear to have a bell though so that’s nice. The 2016 Low carbon plan is 46 pages of stuff that has already been said 3 years ago in the 2013 climate change plan. Anyway….open up page 10 of the 2016 Low Carbon Plan and it says…. Page 10: “On the other hand, we have a major international airport within the city limits, so we are credited with the emissions of nearly all of the region’s domestic air travel. This creates multiple complex challenges – with less Read More …