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Council intent on reducing greenhouse gas emission

Media Release 4 May 2006

Christchurch City Council intent on reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Christchurch City Council is taking a lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the city.

Councillor Sally Buck says the Council’s Long Term Council Community Plan for 2006/16 requires the Council to set a community-wide emissions reduction target. This will be set in consultation with the community and key stakeholders.

The Metropolitan Christchurch Transport Strategy and the Urban Development Strategy are opportunities for reducing greenhouse gases further, Councillor Buck says.

Councillor Buck is also proposing a sustainability task force involving the Council and the city’s major businesses to reduce emissions. “Our businesses would benefit through cost savings from reduced power and water bills and the city benefits from less emissions and better care of the environment,” she says.

The mayors of 227 United States cities have set their target to cut greenhouse gas emissions to 7 per cent below 1990 levels in the next six years. Christchurch’s sister city Seattle has already slashed carbon emissions to 60 per cent below 1990 levels.

Councillor Buck says Christchurch is part of the international move to protect the environment. It is a member of the international Communities for Climate Protection Programme aimed at lowering emissions.

In September last year, Council management approved a target to reduce emissions from Council facilities by 10 per cent from 2001 to 2010.

Councillor Buck says the measures taken include switching from coal to LPG at QE 11, switching from coal to diesel at the Civic Offices and the planned methane gas capture at Burwood and switching from LPG to methane gas at QE11 before 2010.

“The Council is taking its responsibility to cut greenhouse gas emissions seriously. Any cut saves ratepayers money while improving our residents’ health and quality of life,” Councillor Buck says.

Sally Buck advocates sustainability for Christchurch which includes increasing public transport use and other sustainable transport use. In 2001 Christchurch emitted 2.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is about 2.5 per cent of New Zealand’s total carbon emissions. Transport, mostly from private car use, is the largest source of emissions.

ENDS

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