Hamilton Adopts Climate Change Policy
Hamilton City Council has committed to embed climate change impacts in Council decision-making, new business cases and new projects. Council voted unanimously today (30 June) to approve a Climate Change Policy.
“The policy will ensure we have a transparent and consistent approach to climate change considerations,” said Councillor Sarah Thomson, Deputy Chair of Council’s Environment Committee.
“We have a responsibility to show leadership to our community by putting climate change at the forefront of our decision-making. This is a critical step to reaching our goal of a thriving, climate-ready city.”
Emissions and/or adaptation impact assessments will be required in business cases, project plans, procurement processes, and Council reports that have a climate impact.
This includes projects that increase or decrease Council’s use of electricity or fuel, infrastructure projects that use materials that produce emissions, and transport initiatives that influence people’s transport choices.
The assessments will evaluate the emissions impact of the decision or project on both Council and citywide emissions, and how the decision could be impacted by Hamilton’s need to adapt to climate risks.
If a decision will not have an emissions or adaptation impact, no assessment will be required. Tools are being developed to help staff determine whether a basic or detailed assessment is required.
Basic assessments will be required for decisions with minor impacts, and shouldn’t require additional budget. Decisions that will result in an increase or decrease of more than 10,000kg of carbon dioxide equivalents will require a detailed assessment.
The Climate Change Policy is another step toward ensuring climate change is a key consideration in Council activities. Earlier this year, Council amended the Procurement Policy to add a new principle: take care of our local community and natural world.
This principle means that Council will make buying decisions that enable low-carbon options, and support businesses that are focused on sustainable outcomes and emissions reduction.
The Procurement Policy is used when contracting a new supplier and strives to ensure that Council’s buying power generates social and public value.
The Climate Change Policy will come into effect on 1 July 2022 and Council will apply lessons learnt to improve the policy as it is implemented.