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20/07/2021 12:00pm

Hauraki District Council has made a promising start in the fight against climate change.

Keen to get its own house in order before focusing on the bigger, district-wide picture, the council recently adopted a Zero CarbonPromise, which outlines where it can lower emissions caused by its business operations.

Mayor Toby Adams says the document is Council’s latest pledge to its communities on the issue of climate change.

“We also signed the Local Leaders Climate Change Declaration in 2017, which was our original commitment to taking climate change action,” he said. 

Carbon zero, but we can do more

Because council-owned forestry blocks absorb more carbon than its business operations produce, the Council is already carbon zero, but Adams says it wants to do more.

“We’ll work through the actions in our Promise which include investigating new technologies to reduce sewage sludge emissions, introducing greener storm water structure, and looking at green building options,” he said.

Making a collective difference

Further down the track the council wants to work with the wider community on making a collective difference. The results of a recent greenhouse-gas-emission-inventory show that Hauraki District and the Waikato Region as a whole produce more emissions than are offset.

“That’s not surprising because we have a lot of farming and less forestry than other areas. However, we also need to recognise that there’s a lot of good work going on in the agricultural sector, such as research into methane inhibitors, planting trees and restoring wetlands, and that we’re all in this together,” the Mayor said.

Community champions and experts 

Planting trees is one of the best ways to reduce carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere as they store carbon and release oxygen. As part of its Promise the Council has plans to plant more trees in road reserves and council-owned land. It’s also investigating partnerships and external funding for electric vehicle infrastructure.

“Ultimately we want to work with iwi, business, youth and our wider communities to set emissions reduction targets for our district and work out what we need to do to achieve our goals,” the Mayor said. 

“We’re sure there will be some keen community champions and experts who will want to be involved.”

Read our Zero Carbon Promise

Read our Zero Carbon Promise on our website