Hutt City Council has kicked off its first targeted engagement event to support a collaborative and ambitious approach to tackling climate change in our city.
A youth workshop held on Monday was the first in a series of public engagements as part of a community-led design process for combating the effects of climate change in Lower Hutt. To assist with the design, Council has established a lead group consisting of mana whenua, local businesses, climate experts and community representatives.
Lower Hutt Mayor Campbell Barry says the need to address climate change in our city is urgent and given the scale of the challenge the city’s response must be designed alongside the community.
“We are facing a global climate crisis. According to the latest UN report, 2020 was the hottest year on record, there is a clear rise in flood events, and we know that sea level rise will impact coastal areas in the future,” says Campbell Barry.
“We cannot afford to delay this important work and our policy response any longer. The time to take action on reducing our carbon emissions is now, which is why we’re not only developing this plan, but also prioritising our own actions to reduce emissions in the draft 10 year plan. This is to ensure we meet our goal of being carbon neutral by 2050.”
“We can’t create the plan on our own, nor will we be successful if our people aren’t involved in designing the solution. This plan will be done by the people, for the people, so we can all work together in mitigating the impacts of climate change.”
Cr Josh Briggs, Chair of the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee, says this engagement and the work that will result from it is a top priority for Council and the Climate Change and Sustainability Committee.
“The youth hui on Monday was a good example of the conversations which will support the development of our city’s response to climate change, and Council’s own work to reduce emissions,” Cr Briggs says.
“I want to encourage the people in our communities who would like to learn more about how they can support the climate change response, or are passionate about our environment and the future of our city to attend.”
Over 60 people, including 34 youth, were present at the hui. A key takeaway was an agreed vision statement for tackling climate change in Lower Hutt, which says we should “Do something now that your future self would thank you for.”
A series of engagements are set to be held over the coming months. To register for a session, click here.