Kāpiti Coast District Council’s landmark decision to go carbon neutral as an organisation by 2025 signals a welcome return to its former success, local action group Low Carbon Kāpiti (LCK) said today.
After representatives of LCK, who ranged from 11 years old to retirement age, presented a 1500-plus petition calling for the council to pursue the 2025 target, councillors voted unanimously to do so.
Councillors also requested a report from council officers on what actions were needed to achieve the goal and asked that climate crisis issues and carbon neutrality be part of all future council decision-making.
LCK chairperson Jake Roos applauded the move which would return the council to the leadership role on the climate crisis that it once occupied. It had previously achieved a 75 percent cut in its carbon emissions in the past seven years and won several awards for this work over that period.
However, there had been worrying signs of slippage in recent times, such as installing new gas heating at Waikanae pool and buying a new diesel rubbish truck, Jake Roos said.
“This game-changing climate action decision signals council’s willingness to refocus on cleaning up the carbon pollution from its own operations – the things it has control over.
“We look forward to seeing a renewed commitment to clean technology and proven carbon reduction activities.
“Achievable initiatives such as going all-electric, utilising renewable energy and increasing re-establishment of native forests are ways council can ensure it gets to net greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2025.”
Jake Roos applauded Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow and Councillor John Howson for proposing the motion after the petition was presented.
Speaking before the vote John Howson said, “to those who say that it’s futile, that anything we do is just a drop in the ocean… it’s your ocean and it’ll be coming to your backyard soon.
“The science is incontrovertible. Anyone around this table who doubts the seriousness of the crisis, you’re at the wrong council table. There’s one on the West Coast that might welcome you.”
Deputy Mayor Janet Holborow was moved by statements from our young people. “they’re truly afraid that their future is uncertain. They’ve told us in no uncertain terms that they don’t what words or hope. They want action. We really need to step up as a Council and put Climate Change at the forefront of every decision we make.”
Council could not rest on its laurels and must push on with appropriate actions to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, Jake Roos said.
“While we’re obviously delighted with this result we will continue to monitor KCDC’s performance and call it to account for any actions that do not support its decision.”