Zero carbon goal and climate emergency
In June 2018, Council set a goal of reducing emissions to zero by 2050. The goal applies to Hutt City Council and Council-Controlled Organisations.
In June 2019, Council declared a climate emergency to raise awareness about climate change and prioritise the need to reduce emissions to net zero. Net zero means that any greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere are balanced by removing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere e.g. forests soaking up carbon dioxide.
Hutt City Council Climate Change initiatives
Hutt City Council has established a Climate Change and Sustainability Committee to oversee the Council’s environment and climate change response:
- implementation of strategies to achieve carbon zero
- decarbonisation of our assets
- developing and implementing environmental policies
- overseeing the city’s new residential and rubbish and recycling service which will be in place for all residents by 1 July 2021.
Lower Hutt’s carbon emissions
Most of our city’s emissions come from transport and stationary energy (power and heating):
Read the full Lower Hutt Greenhouse Gas Inventory (PDF 1.7 MB) for more information.
Reducing emissions from energy and transport are the areas that need the most work. Switching to electric transport, increasing the use of public and active transport, and reducing the amount of fossil fuels used to heat homes (eg natural gas) will help us move to carbon zero by 2050.
Council’s carbon emissions
This graph shows a breakdown of Council’s organisational carbon footprint:
The council has produced an Interim Carbon Reduction and Climate Resilience Plan 2021-2031 - Mahere Hukihuki Whakaiti Waro me te Manawaroa ā-Āhuarangi mō Te Kaunihera o Te Awa Kairangi. It describes what actions the council needs to take over the next 12 months as it works towards becoming a carbon neutral organisation by 2050.
Here are some of the things we’re doing to reduce emissions at the council over the next 10 years:
- Our facilities: We have a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions from the energy used at our facilities by 30% by 2024, and 50% by 2030. The biggest savings in this area will come from changing natural gas heating to lower-carbon options, such as at our pools.
- Council vehicles: We’re improving the efficiency of our vehicle fleet, and we are switching to Electric Vehicles (EVs). As at 11 June 2021, our vehicle fleet is over 20% electric. We expect our fleet to comprise 50% electric vehicles in 2025 and 100% electric vehicles by 2030.
- Climate Change & Sustainability Committee - Council has set up a specific committee to deal with matters related to climate change and sustainability.
- Investment decisions: All reports presented to Council on key purchase and investment decisions must prepare have a Climate Change Impact Assessment for consideration.
- Urban Plus Limited: All of UPL's new dwellings consented after 1 July 2021 will be built to the New Zealand Green Building Council Homestar 6 Rating, or similar equivalent.
- New commercial builds: We’re looking at using the New Zealand Green Building Council GreenStar Building Rating, or similar equivalent for new commercial building projects including the Naenae Pool rebuild, with all energy coming from either electricity or alternative low-carbon energy sources.
- Silverstream Landfill: At Silverstream we have a methane collection system in place, which is used to generate energy. We also have in place a supplementary flare to improve methane destruction efficiency.