Hamilton City Council’s emissions are down 11% from the 2018/2019 baseline, the end-of-year Climate Change Action Plan Monitoring Report has found.
The report was brought to the Environment Committee today (Tuesday 2 August), and summarises Council's progress against 45 climate change actions.
At the end of the monitoring period for 2021/2022, five actions were completed, 33 were on track, and seven required additional monitoring or have had timing adjustments.
Council’s 11% emissions reduction is largely thanks to shifting away from natural gas as an energy source – since baseline monitoring began, emissions from this source are down 45%.
Instead of natural gas at key facilities like the Wastewater Treatment Plant, grid electricity is being used for power. This means that the emissions from electricity has increased slightly, but it is a lower impact energy source, and emissions will decrease as the national grid shifts to renewable sources.
Waste emissions from Council sites are also down 17% from the baseline measurement. From the food waste collection service, Council has provided community groups with 58.5m3 of Tronpost in the last year.
Several other actions that are on track are expected to significantly reduce emissions in the coming years.
This includes the introduction of a Climate Change Policy, adopted on 30 June 2022, that ensures climate change is embedded in decision making, business cases and new projects.
Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee Councillor Sarah Thomson said: “We’re seeing climate change leading to more extreme weather events so it’s critical that the council shows leadership in reducing its emissions and building resilience.
“While COVID-19 has made the task more challenging, it’s encouraging to see we’re still on track to cut our emissions in half by 2030.”
Other actions include Council’s long-term strategies for key areas like transport and biodiversity. Thirty thousand native plants have been planted at Waiwhakareke Natural Heritage Park, and the Nature in the City programme, launched in May, saw 1500 planted at Kukutaaruhe Gully/Donny Park.
The programme aims to restore Hamilton’s native vegetation cover from 2% to 10% by 2050.
Also discussed at the Environment Committee today was Our Climate Future: Te Pae Tawhiti o Kirikiriroa, Council’s draft Climate Change Strategy.
Our Climate Future sets the vision for Hamilton Kirikiriroa in 2050, and how we will transition to a low-carbon, resilient city. It includes emissions reduction targets for the city, and updated targets for Council’s emissions.
The Strategy was supported by the Environment Committee and will be presented to Council on Thursday 18 August for adoption.
Find out more about The Climate Change Action Plan Monitoring Report in the Environment Committee Open Agenda 2 August 2022