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 December 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.
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.
We have commenced work to create a Zero Carbon Pathway for Lower Hutt that shows how as a city we can reduce our emissions, using a co-design approach.. We are planning to engage with the Lower Hutt community in early 2021.
Council’s carbon emissions
This graph shows a breakdown of Council’s organisational carbon footprint:
Here are some of the things we’re doing to reduce emissions at Council:
- Our facilities: We have a plan in place to reduce carbon emissions from the energy used at our facilities by 30% by 2024. 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 31 October 2020, our vehicle fleet is over 17% electric.
- Investment decisions: All reports presented to Council on key purchase and investment decisions must prepare have a Climate Change Impact Assessment.
- New commercial builds: We’re looking at using the New Zealand Green Building Council GreenStar Building Rating for new commercial building projects including the Naenae Pool rebuild.
- Silverstream Landfill: At Silverstream we have a methane collection system in place, which is used to generate energy. We are also installing a supplementary flare to improve methane destruction efficiency.