Dunedin leads the way

Written By: - Date published: 4:14 pm, December 3rd, 2015 - 7 comments
Categories: activism, climate change, global warming, local government - Tags: , , , , ,

I don’t have great hopes for the climate talks in Paris, where the world’s rich countries (like NZ) are still disgracing themselves.

I have no hope at all for NZ under National, which is still stuck in a stupid fossil fuel mentality.

I do have hope for the people, organisations, and regions within NZ who are collectively taking action. I’m proud that my home of Dunedin (and the councillors I voted for!) is leading the way:

Council says yes to climate change resolutions

The Dunedin City Council voted in four climate change resolutions yesterday aimed at changing the way the city, and the country, approached the issue.

The resolutions, brought before the council by Crs Aaron Hawkins and Jinty MacTavish, state the council will:

• Urge the Government to adopt a tougher carbon emissions target.

• Support the Government in that goal by reducing Dunedin’s carbon emissions.

• Join the international ”Compact of Mayors” agreement to measure and reduce emissions across Dunedin.

• Ask the Government to place a moratorium on deep sea oil and gas exploration.

Cr Hawkins presented the resolutions by calling climate change ”the biggest issue of all time”. They were not radical resolutions, he said, and simply sought to commit Dunedin and pressure the Government into taking a more meaningful approach to the issue.

Cr David Benson-Pope brought cheers from the gallery for his speech on why Dunedin had to take a stand. ”Like it or not, colleagues, we are part of our community. In fact, we are supposed to be some of the carriers of the moral leadership.” ”There was no question what thousands of New Zealanders thought about the issue during the weekend’s climate change marches,” he said. ”They think this community needs to move. ”I agree with them, and I’m not reluctant to … tell the Government it’s time that they got real and re-established a degree of political integrity and moral fibre on this issue.’

The second and third points require further practical action from Dunedin. Good. I look forward to hearing about what we will be doing to reduce our emissions.

7 comments on “Dunedin leads the way”

  1. David Scott 1

    Wasn’t it Anton Oliver and hippies who objected to a windfarm at one point? It was too ugly for them in the middle of nowhere.

    • McFlock 1.1

      I suppose that’s one perspective.

      The perspective of the environment court was along the lines that it would have marred an iconic landscape simply to provide more energy for the north to waste.

      Hell, I’m not even sure Project Hayes was even within Dunedin city limits – maybe right on the edge, but the bulk of the process seemed to go through Central Otago District Council.

    • weka 1.2

      What McFlock said. Plus, building windfarms so that Aucklanders can wear t-shirts in winter and people can have heated towel rails won’t prevent climate change. The biggest thing that needs to change is our behaviour, and we can then support that via renewables.

      For the same reason, I’ll continue to lobby against more dams being built on the Clutha or Waitaki (or most places). The whole point is we have to live within the limits of the natural world.

  2. Detrie 2

    Yes, local initiatives seem to occur before national/govt efforts. However in European parliaments the greens are stronger hence more progressive, taking the lead. More conservative, right wing politicians like we have in the UK, Auz and NZ follow later, usually when they can make easy money from it.

  3. Jenny Kirk 3

    Pleased to hear Dunedin CC has taken this initiative. Hope other local authorities follow their example.

  4. weka 4

    Great to hear r0b. I hear many good things about what is happening in Dunedin and coastal Otago. Feel free to lead the way 🙂

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