Dunedin City Council votes for carbon neutral target

Written By: - Date published: 6:18 am, February 17th, 2018 - 15 comments
Categories: climate change, Environment - Tags: , , ,

From Thursday’s Otago Daily Times:

At a meeting of the Dunedin City Council’s planning and environment committee this week, councillors voted to adopt a target of a 100% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2050, excluding methane for now.

The adoption of the target meant the council met its requirements as part of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy and any zero carbon emissions policy for New Zealand that the Government is investigating.

A report prepared by council senior policy analyst Bill Frewen initially gave councillors three options for reducing emissions by 2050: a 100% net reduction excluding methane or an 80% net reduction including methane, both of which would be achieved through local and national carbon offsets and a reduction in emissions; or delaying adopting a target but taking feedback on the options presented.

In his report, Mr Frewen highlighted that, unlike cities such as Auckland and Wellington, almost half of Dunedin’s emissions came from the agricultural sector, which was mostly methane.

Cr Aaron Hawkins put forward a motion that the council adopt a net zero carbon emissions-reduction target, excluding methane, by 2050 and develop a series of targets as a pathway, as a matter of urgency.

Any methane-reduction targets would be set in line with the outcomes of the Government’s Zero Carbon Act consultation process.

Offsets alone would not achieve the zero carbon target and a significant systematic and behavioural change would still be needed, he said.

15 comments on “Dunedin City Council votes for carbon neutral target”

  1. Ms Fargo 1

    Progressive thinking!

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    Shame they’re set on a white elephant convention centre.

  3. Bill 3

    Cutting emissions? Good.
    Not cutting emissions and paying some-one else, somewhere else to cut theirs instead, and then taking credit for their reduction? Bad.

    Cutting emissions. Good.
    Wanking on about “net zero”. Bad.

    Acknowledging it’s far short of the mark? Good.

    Running a whole pile of cost analysis calculations for projects in S. Dunedin and Taieri Mouth, based on IPCC and government suggestions of a 1m rise in sea-level by 2100? Yeah, that doesn’t end in any way other than very badly.

  4. McFlock 4

    So they were offered as options 100% excluding methane, 80% including methane, and methane is ~50%.

    So they selected 50% by 2050 instead of 80%?

    After literal fires and floods and half of South Dunedin imperiled by sea level rise, they chose 50%.

    Fucking DCC (not the first time I’ve said that, either).

    • weka 4.1

      It’s probably worse than that when you consider the methane is worse for climate change than carbon 😉

      But I think it’s an ok first step. Get the city folk on board with the need to change, then go after the farmers (although I don’t know what the methane breakdown is, e.g. how much is coming from the tip?).

      This is confusing, if they are including methane in the carbon counting,

      Turning methane gas into electricity at the Green Island landfill has helped the Dunedin City Council slash its carbon footprint in half.

      Figures released by the council yesterday showed its carbon emissions had been cut by an estimated 56% in two years, from 71,231 tonnes a year to about 31,000 tonnes a year.


      • Pat 4.1.1

        I guess they are burning the methane from land fill , maybe for power generation….so in CC terms i guess it will depend on your real time measures and how they are accounting it…..you can be sure that ALL groups will use the most advantageous measure they are allowed to.

        “Methane might only stay in the atmosphere for 12 years – a stark comparison to the 100-300 years for carbon dioxide – but it is a more potent greenhouse gas because of how it absorbs heat. Pound for pound, methane traps 84 times more heat than carbon dioxide over the first two decades after it is released into the air.”

        • McFlock

          Nah, we have a lot of farmland inside the city limits.

          That’ll be the main motivation to exclude methane.

          • Pat

            yes but weka is referring to the accounting ambiguity as evidenced by her quote..are they or are they not accounting for methane..the quote appears to indicate some methane reduction (conversion) has had an impact

            • McFlock

              On the DCC’s footprint, not Dunedin City’s, is the distinction I read between the post and Weka’s link.

              • weka

                far too little detail all round. Haven’t looked at the DCC website closely to see if they are any clearer there.

  5. Paul Campbell 5

    Perhaps they could start by turning off all the lights at the stadium when it’s not being used

  6. timeforacupoftea 6

    We have one crazy Council down here in the South.

    The Council knows best the sea is not rising.

    A couple of months ago our hopeless Dunedin City Council announced a 30 year plan.
    One a hotel on the edge of the harbour. Sea level High Tide.
    Incidentally it looks like an open sandwich with 3 sets of kitchen tongs standing in the air handles buried in sand.

    TODAY our idiot Dunedin City Councillors / majority green decided to build a bridge across the railway line for (listen) $20million.
    The road bridge is only 40 meters south which I can cycle over with a puff or two and walk over easily.
    A foot bridge is available 400 meters north I see people push bikes up the stairs ok.
    Another 100 meters north a level railway crossing with automatic arms is available.

    The $20 million van Brandenburg bridge at the Dunedin harbourside has got the unanimous backing of the Dunedin City Council.
    The plan for a bridge on Rattray St between the Chinese Garden and the Steamer Basin was described as an ”extraordinary opportunity” that could spark development by the harbourside.

    The council included $20 million in its draft 10-year plan for an architecturally designed walking and cycling bridge as part of the city to waterfront connection project.

    The initiative comes after Damien van Brandenburg presented his vision for the redevelopment of the Steamer Basin, which included the bridge.

    Two other options were explored in the plan, including a basic design for the bridge or upgrades to the Jetty St overbridge costing between $6-10 million.

    At the council 10-year plan meeting, Cr David Benson-Pope moved the $20 million option, with the $6 million to $10 million ”lesser bridge” also put out for community consultation.

    Cr Benson-Pope said Mr van Brandenburg’s design was ”an extraordinary opportunity”.

    Councillors supported the bridge, though some raised concerns about the process by which it had been included in the draft plan.

    Cr Chris Staynes said the $20 million option would recognise the world class design that came from Dunedin, and attract the sort of investment required at the harbour.

    The council had to follow process, but ”surely we need some vision”.

    Mayor Dave Cull said the bridge was ”the only way to go”.

    A utilitarian bridge would not be good enough for the wider vision of the harbourside.

    Hahaha and now –
    At a meeting of the Dunedin City Council’s planning and environment committee this week, councillors voted to adopt a target of a 100% reduction in net carbon emissions by 2050, excluding methane for now. Bloody wankers !!

    • McFlock 6.1

      The funny bit is that they put the city side of the bridge on the arse side of two busy highways, so it’s still shit for pedestrians to wander down there.

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