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In a chamber packed with climate action supporters, Hamilton City Council has committed to an 82% reduction in the city’s emissions by 2050, in a climate change strategy approved by Council today (18 August).


The strategy, Our Climate Future: Te Pae Tawhiti o Kirikiriroa, sets a vision for Hamilton Kirikiriroa as a thriving, low-carbon city that responds and adapts to climate change.


The strategy outlines the emissions reduction targets for both the city and Council. City emissions must peak and begin declining by 2025 and reduce by 30% by 2030. By 2050, Hamilton will see an 82% reduction in emissions.


For Council’s operational emissions, the goal is to achieve net zero by 2050.


“I want to acknowledge the people who took the time to show up for climate change today,” said Sarah Thomson, Deputy Chair of the Environment Committee.


“The targets we’ve set today provide the goal posts for Hamilton Kirikiriroa and will help determine our course of action over the next 30 years.”


While reducing emissions is a major part of the strategy, it’s not the only consideration for a climate-ready future.


“We also need to prepare Hamilton for the impacts that climate change will bring,” said Thomson.


“We’re going to see more extreme rains and hotter temperatures, so we need to ensure the city can cope.”


Key outcomes in the strategy are neighbourhoods that enable low-carbon living, and a city ready for Hamilton’s climate.


This means increasing native biodiversity in the city to improve resilience, and developing neighbourhoods to meet most of residents' daily needs within a short distance from home.


Our Climate Future also highlights the importance of an equitable transition, ensuring Hamilton’s most vulnerable communities are equally equipped for the changes ahead.


Council’s Sustainability and Climate Change Manager, Charlotte Catmur, said “We know the effects of climate change could worsen inequalities within our society. So, it’s important we work with our community and investigate what support different groups need to thrive.


“We also recognise that our community groups and organisations often have the expertise on what they need and the best path forward. We will advocate and empower them to lead the action, with full support from Council.”


Council recognises the importance of te ao Maaori, protecting values and tikanga (customs),and working in partnership with iwi at all levels of climate action to ensure a just transition for tangata whenua (people of the land).


The strategy commits to involving iwi and hapuu at all levels of climate action and is guided by He Pou Manawa Ora which underpins how Council, tangata whenua and the wider community can work together to create equal opportunities and support.


Also before the Council today was a plan for 2022/2023, which outlines the next steps Council is taking to deliver Our Climate Future.


These actions include developing an emissions reduction pathway for Hamilton, assessing existing and potential community sharing networks, and the roll out of Neighbourhood Climate Resilience booklets for households.

Read Our Climate Future: Te Pae Tawhiti o Kirikiriroa here


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