As a Council, we are committed to doing what we can (within our financial and legal limits), as set out in our Tasman Climate Action Plan. We also know that ongoing, sustained action will be required – climate change will continue to affect life in our District for many generations.
We have set a series of actions in this plan, covering the short, medium and long term. We know these actions will need to be reviewed and updated regularly.
One of our medium-term aims is to work collaboratively together with iwi and communities across the Tasman and Nelson regions to develop a broader strategy for responding to climate change. We expect this to occur via our participation in the proposed Nelson Tasman Climate Forum initiative.
In the short-term, we want to get our own house in order and to prioritise work programmes that will help us achieve our goals in this plan. We’ve worked together with Enviroleaders from local secondary schools and the Zero Carbon Nelson Tasman group to identify and prioritise actions we can undertake as a Council, to begin our journey on this path.
The Tasman Climate Action Plan aims to drive reductions in Council emissions, provide leadership and advocacy and improve the District’s resilience in the face of a changing climate.
The action plan is a further step in our response to the challenges of climate change and focuses on getting our own house in order as a first step. A fund of $100,000 has been set aside to progress some of the short-term actions that have not already been budgeted for.
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne says the Council recognises it needs to provide leadership. “There is no point in us preaching to our residents about what they should do to ensure a more sustainable future before we take a hard look at our own organisation and the steps we need to take to reduce our own emissions and ensure sound environmental practice in everything we do.”
Development of the action plan included a series of workshops with Enviro Leaders from Tasman high schools, and also considered ideas put forward by primary school students at this year’s Tasman Mission sustainability challenge.
The plan focuses on the measures we can influence or control, including our own assets, activities and functions (such as Council buildings and vehicles), regulatory tools such as building regulations and planning rules, non-regulatory tools such as education and partnership programmes, and indirect influence such as advocacy at the local and national level.
We have set internal emissions targets in line with the direction provided by the Government’s Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill:
One of the first steps in the action plan is to carry out an emissions inventory, followed by annual emissions monitoring in order to measure and track reductions.
The action plan is explicit about our commitment to work with others, supporting both existing and new community initiatives and engaging with iwi, other councils, local sectors and industry.
The action plan was adopted by Council on 12 September 2019.