Community & Environment

Council prioritises its climate change response

Pictured (left to right): Timi Barabas (Rototuna High School), Monica Lim (Hillcrest High School), Aimee Hudson (Hamilton Girls' High School), and Hannah Huggan (Hilcrest High School) who all spoke passionately in Public Forum

Hamilton City Council has voted to start an action plan to address climate change issues, accepting a need for these issues to be considered urgently.

Elected Members voted 9 – 4 to direct the Council’s staff to develop a Climate Change Action Plan for Hamilton City.

The Council aims to develop a Climate Change Action Plan in partnership with key stakeholders including Waikato-Tainui, Waikato Regional Council and community organisations.

The Plan will provide an objective framework to base future decisions on, and will enable focused decision making and planning. It will include an assessment of Hamilton’s current carbon footprint and identify key areas of focus for reducing the city’s net emissions.

Chief Executive Richard Briggs says the issue of climate change has gained considerable community attention this year, most notably through student demonstrations held nationwide on 15 March.

“Many members of the community want clear, decisive climate change action in the city – people want to see results, not just hear and read more rhetoric,” Mr Briggs says.

The Council is already taking steps to address climate change issues within its sustainability plans.

Mr Briggs says: “As a Council we need to take a leadership role. We have a number of actions already being undertaken by the Council through its 11 sustainability principles which we  adopted in 2016, but we can always be doing more.”

He says the Council’s latest sustainability stocktake revealed some significant developments toward a more sustainable city.

“These principles clearly state we must support climate change resilience in our community.

“Our Action Plan will enable us to partner with our key community stakeholders, creating specific and measurable goals for our city. Partnering with Waikato-Tainui on the development of the Plan will also strengthen the principle of Kaitiakitanga and link the people, the environment and the land together.”

Staff will report back on progress on the draft plan for agreement at the April 2020 Council meeting.

Pictured (left to right): Timi Barabas (Rototuna High School), Monica Lim (Hillcrest High School), Aimee Hudson (Hamilton Girls’ High School), and Hannah Huggan (Hilcrest High School) who all spoke passionately in Public Forum

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