Congratulations to Hauraki District Council for its Zero Carbon Promise

Big ups and congratulations to Hauraki District Council (HDC) and Mayor Toby Adams who are taking positive steps to reduce damaging climate emissions.  HDC has just adopted a comprehensive Zero Carbon Promise, with a clear pathway laid out how the council will achieve zero carbon and assist Hauraki District to achieve that goal.

HDC Mayor Toby Adams has no trouble acknowledging that “it is a proven fact if we don’t reduce the amount of greenhouse gases …we’ll face huge local and global challenges in the future”. 

Mayor Toby freely acknowledges the need for emission reduction action saying – “You told us reducing our carbon footprint is important and we listened”.  He then commits HDC “to do more to reduce and off-set our greenhouse gas emissions” and to “partnering with iwi, community groups and others to work towards a zero carbon future.”

Notice there is no humiliating mayoral refusal to acknowledge humans are causing climate change, no refusal to consult and listen, and no hesitation to commit to emission reduction action and partnering with the community.

Using data provided by Waikato Regional Council (WRC), HDC has a profile of where damaging emissions are generated within the district.  The WRC Climate Action Roadmap has also assisted HDC to produce its own report.

Also, following WRC’s leadership, HDC has produced an emission profile within its own activities

HDC then sets out a detailed pathway to achieve zero carbon.  This includes –

  • updating HDC’s decision-making to include carbon reduction,
  • reviewing procurement to prioritise carbon zero,
  • investigating new carbon-reducing three waters technologies,
  • encouraging more walking and cycling,
  • improving public transport to get people out of their cars,
  • moving the council fleet to low or zero emission vehicles,
  • reducing organic waste at source, and
  • green building options

Many of these actions will save ratepayer’s funds.

In a fantastic initiative HDC will have “climate champions” within staff who will promote climate action.

And following through on the commitments HDC made when it signed the Local Government Climate Leaders Declaration it will take a leadership position on climate action and work in partnership with its communities

It required a High Court order to compel TCDC to consult with its community and take zero carbon action.  In stark contrast the next-door council and Mayor Toby has willingly consulted and is starting to reduce emissions, backed by strong science-based leadership. 

Great stuff HDC and Mayor Toby.  You have laid out a good plan to achieve zero carbon. Now we await concerted climate action.

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