KCDC and GWRC adopted their Long Terms Plans for the 2018-21 period in late June 2018, so this campaign has been concluded. KCDC reaffirmed its commitment to it’s 80% greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2021-22 within the plan, and to completing its LED streetlight programme. However it set no further targets or measures. We will continue advocating for KCDC to adopt a net-zero emissions target for 2025 through a new campaign.
GWRC has put funding in place in its LTP to begin replacing its rolling stock for the Capital Connection and Wairarapa train services, using the same type of units on both lines to reduce maintenance costs. This new stock may create improved circumstances for providing more frequent services between Ōtaki and Waikanae (for example by being cheaper to operate, improving financial viability) however this remains too be seen. We will continue to follow this issue.
Background to campaign (from September 2017)
KCDC and GWRC have started work on their spending plans for 2018-21 (referred to as Long Term Plans). To a large extent these plans will determine what activities will take place during this period including investments in low carbon technologies, infrastructure and supporting activities.
Low Carbon Kāpiti call for KCDC fulfill the commitment it made in 2012 to cut its emissions by 80% by the year 2021-22 (see www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/cemars). Their main chance to allocate resources to achieve this is in the 2018-21 Long Term Plan. This will involve committing to convert the district’s streetlights to LED technology, improving energy efficiency in its buildings and treatment plants, phasing out the use of fossil fuels in its vehicle fleet and at its swimming pools and increasing tree planting. Furthermore, investments in local facilities for walkers, cyclists and electric vehicles should be increased.
Greater Wellington Regional Council also has carbon reduction targets and plans that need to be adequately resourced, and improved public transport services are critical to making it easier for residents to live lower-carbon lifestyles. Low Carbon Kāpiti supports increased rail services between Waikanae to Ōtaki and northwards and will focus on enabling actions for this GWRC can take in the 2018-21 period.
Update 24 November 2017
KCDC Long Term Plan
Well done to everyone that helped by putting submissions about the lack of any mention of climate change in KCDC draft ‘key issues and approaches’ for the Long Term Plan earlier this year. KCDC responded by inserting some wording in their final ‘key themes’:
‘We need to protect and enhance what we have through sustainable practices and responding to climate change in a way that’s aligned with national policy.’
You can read the whole thing here.
Given the agenda of the new government, ‘being aligned with national policy’ means they will find it harder to drag their heels. Our next job is to influence the draft plan prior to it being finalised for public consultation next year. Join the member list (email) or facebook page to stay up to date with this.
GWRC Long Term Plan
Greater Wellington have started their community consultation on their Long Term Plan, by canvas the public on their ‘key priorities’. Climate change is already identified as an area where they wish to take a leadership role, so this is a good start. Through this website the public can make comments in a discussion forum format. We will issue more guidance about our groups ‘talking points’ in the near future, but if you want to wade in now, feel free!
Update 7 December 2017
KCDC Long Term Plan
Our group set out out expectations for the Long Term Plan at the public forum at Council on Thursday 7 Dec. Nine of us attended. Our statement can be downloaded here.
Update 2 February 2018
KCDC Long Term Plan
The Council has responded to our statement and set of points with a memo to Councillors. There is a clear commitment to continuing the paid conversion of streetlights to LED in the 2018-21 LTP, which is a great result. On the other points and the ‘big picture’ goal of achieving its targets or in the longer term of carbon neutrality there are no firm commitments. You can read their response here. There is also some detail on the results on their 2016-17 carbon audit. Large reductions have occurred due to changes council made to sludge disposal from Feb 2016 onwards, and the council has involuntarily received the benefit of there being a high proportion of renewable electricity in NZ during the 2016-17 financial year.
Update 12 April 2018
KCDC Long Term Plan
The LTP consultation document is out and they are taking submissions. These must be in by Monday 23 April.
You will have noticed the short attractive printed document at libraries. Some may choose to use this.
The documents are on-line via https://www.kapiticoast.govt.nz/kapiti2038 On-line submissions can be done at http://consult-kapiticoast.objective.com/portal/2018-ltp_1/2018_ltp?pointId=1521685325038
We are calling on council to go carbon neutral by 2025, and the actions we outline can enable this. Low Carbon Kāpiti will also be doing a submission from LCK as a group. There is a media release here about this, linked to the Lego project.
The points you might like to make in your submission can be drawn from these. Although the document gives very few options for change, there is an opportunity in the last question to address your other concerns.
1. In the section Where we are heading? you list ‘An effective response to climate change’ as the last of five. We would like it first so that in thinking about infrastructure and money climate change becomes an integral part of every other decision.
2. A section on Significant Assumptions and Risks should be included and, like Greater Wellington does, state that the main effects of climate change will be more frequent and increasing severe storm events with rain and westerly winds.
3. The plan begins to address some of the issues with adaptation to climate change but fails completely to mention ways we could reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases. The exception is the LED streetlight conversion – it is already in the plan, it will reduce emissions and we support it. There is no acknowledgement of Council’s existing carbon reduction target of 80% by 2021-22.
4. Mitigation issues that are left out include:
a. Offset Council carbon emissions – preferably with native revegetation in the district at high benefit sites. The plan should mention and budget for planting trees. If trees were planted on three pieces of council land the emissions saved would be significant.
b. Further conversion of the council’s vehicle fleet to electric vehicles would be another contribution.
c. Heat pumps at Ōtaki and Waikanae pools. Heating renewals are planning in the next sic years but these must not be natural gas boilers. Ōtaki Pool should also have a ventilation heat recovery system installed.
d. Diversion of all organic material (food and garden waste) to composting rather than letting it be buried and produce methane, a greenhouse gas. This is half our waste. There is no budget for investigating or developing systems for this.
e. Continue to support education and home insulation etc. to reduce peak electricity generation carbon emissions from coal/gas
f. More solar panels at the sewage treatment plant and possibly introduce them at the water treatment plant
g. Improve public walkways and cycleways and public transport infrastructure
a. The stormwater upgrade issue is partly an issue relating to adaptation to climate change. The council knows it must be upgraded and earlier dismissed the chance to spend just 25 years upgrading it, but chose the 45 year timeframe because of its self-imposed constraints on council debt. The only other option is no good – to do nothing. Submitters should know this is a major part of the rates bill.
b. Road maintenance. Certain roads mainly rural are vulnerable to frequent storm events causing slips.
c. Coastal erosion. We must decide how long we will defend against the sea and at what stage we will adopt a policy of managed retreat. Coastal erosion from rising sea levels and tectonic subsidence – managed retreat particularly south of Waikanae.
d. Rising sea levels – includes tectonic subsidence 2mm/yr- managed coastal and lowland river/stream retreat – stop new infrastructure investment or development in areas that will inevitably succumb to the Dunedin problem
e. Increased rainfall/flooding – managed lowland river/stream retreat – catchment native revegetation – revegetation of steep slopes that threaten infrastructure
f. Increased droughts – improved lowland river stream riparian vegetation for shading and evaporation minimisation to protect freshwater ecosystems – catchment native revegetation (particularly in our smaller water supply catchments and those with threatened native fish species)
Naturally in your submission you can include answers to other questions unrelated to climate change. It is up to you!