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Gwynn Compton announces plan for action on climate change

Kāpiti Coast mayoral candidate Gwynn Compton has announced a plan for real action to tackle the climate change challenge facing the Kāpiti Coast, including the ambitious goal of the Kāpiti Coast being net carbon neutral by 2040 - 10 years ahead of the rest of New Zealand.

“The Kāpiti Coast is one of the most vulnerable spots in New Zealand to the impacts of climate change with the increased severity and frequency of extreme weather events and rising sea levels putting thousands of people's homes and livelihoods at risk, “says Mr Compton.

“With Kāpiti's limited financial resources we can't afford to deal with climate change on our own. But we can’t expect the rest of New Zealand to help us either unless we do our bit and show leadership in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.”

Gwynn’s plan calls on the Kāpiti Coast to aim to be net carbon neutral by 2040, reaching the goal being set for the rest of New Zealand under the Zero Carbon Bill 10 years ahead of schedule.

“I'm putting forward an ambitious plan for real action to tackle the threat from climate change in Kāpiti. Reaching net carbon neutral by 2040 can only be achieved if central, regional, and local government work in partnership with our communities,” says Mr Compton.

“We will need to increase our carbon sinks by at least doubling the amount of forest cover in Kāpiti, with opportunities available through the One Billion Trees programme to help both Kāpiti Coast District Council and other landowners find suitable places for additional planting on their land where it makes sense to do so.

“We will also need to halve the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we produce, especially from transport sources. This will see our communities working in partnership with local and central government to prioritise things like investment in cycling and electric vehicle infrastructure, and reinforces the need for the extension of commuter rail to Ōtaki, along with providing faster, more frequent, and more reliable train services for the Kāpiti Coast.”

Emphasising the need to take action, Gwynn Compton has highlighted the generational impact of climate change.

“First and foremost I'm a father, and this is something we have to get right if Kāpiti is to continue to be a place that our children and grandchildren can call home for years to come. Failure simply isn't an option.”

Gwynn Compton's plan calls for:
• A target of a net carbon neutral Kāpiti Coast by 2040 (10 years before the rest of New Zealand).
• Achieved by at least doubling forestry (both native and exotic plantation) on the Kāpiti Coast and halving greenhouse gas emissions, especially from transport.
• Working with Kāpiti’s communities, along with central and regional government, to establish a strategy to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts on our coast.
• Establishing a partnership between Kāpiti’s communities, central, regional, and local government to help Kāpiti shift to a low carbon economy, e.g. shifting to electric buses, investing in infrastructure for cyclists, mobility scooters, and electric cars, and fighting for both the extension of commuter rail to Ōtaki and faster, more frequent, and more reliable rail services.
• Showing leadership in partnering with central and regional government to lead the establishment of a Climate Change Adaptation Fund to pay for things such as dune restoration, seawalls, upgraded stormwater systems, and compensation for when managed retreat is required.
• Supporting Low Carbon Kāpiti’s goal of a net carbon neutral Kāpiti Coast District Council by 2025.

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