Climate action report a stocktake of past, present and future work
Published 08 Aug 2022
A new climate action report brings together Kāpiti Coast District Council’s recent and future work to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.
Sustainability and resilience manager Nienke Itjeshorst says the report, Climate emergency action: Delivering on our climate commitments [PDF 11.13 MB], highlights Council’s work to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
It also provides an overview of what Council is doing to help the community transition to a “new normal” low-carbon future.
“We all need to understand what a changing climate means in Kāpiti,” Ms Itjeshorst says. “This report makes it easier for the community to learn about the projections for our district and know what we are doing to respond.
“We are proud of the work we have done over many years to reduce Council’s own emissions, support the lowering of emissions across the district and prepare our infrastructure for the future.
“We also recognise more effort is needed. This report is a stocktake of where we are at and will help us identify what more we need to do.”
In recent years Council has made good progress to lower carbon emissions. Action includes supporting Energise Ōtaki to set up a solar farm that now provides 40 per cent of the power to the Ōtaki Wastewater Treatment Plant, replacing ageing fleet vehicles with electric and hybrid versions, and transitioning most streetlights to LED, significantly reducing energy use.
To prepare for the inevitable climate change impacts an ongoing programme of essential infrastructure renewals and upgrades is underway. This includes work across our drinking, waste and storm waters, and coastal assets.
“Supporting our community to lower its emissions and prepare for more extremes is also crucial. We do this in several ways, for example through the delivery of cycleways to promote active transport, funding waste minimisation initiatives and advocating to regional and central government for more action and leadership.
“We’re also proposing changes to our district plan to intensify our urban areas to make it easier for more people to live more walkable, connected lives - near public transport links that can make leaving the car at home an option.”
Ms Itjeshorst says Kāpiti is experiencing the kinds of climate change impacts we can expect more of in the future.
Projected impacts include more extreme rain events; stronger and more frequent winds; rising sea levels; higher temperatures and occasional drought and low river flows.
“As recently as June Kāpiti endured significant rain events, storms blowing trees over, tornadoes in Waikanae and sea swells damaging our coastal environment and beach accessways.
“Kāpiti has always had storms but we’ve had to activate our Emergency Operations Centre three times in the last 10 months to respond to weather events.
“We can anticipate more extreme weather, occurring more frequently – just look at what is happening overseas where heatwaves have been causing havoc in Europe, North America, Asia, and Africa.
“Our new report shows we have been working hard, but there is absolutely no time to sit back.”
Visit kapiticoast.govt.nz/ClimateResponse for more information.