Climate change

Why you should care

Climate change is a large, complex issue, but one thing we know for sure: it will be the small steps taken by individuals supported by the bigger steps of governments and businesses that will make all the difference.

It will take a global effort to reduce the greenhouse gases heating up our planet. That doesn't mean we can sit back and wait for everyone else to change their energy and transport habits because on a per person basis, New Zealand's emissions are 12th worst in the world!  We will be affected by climate change - and we can't expect other countries to change if we don't.

If we don't make changes, the next 25 years could see New Zealand's energy-related greenhouse gas emissions increase by 30%, and transport-related emissions increase by 35 percent.

How we all respond now will determine the shape of our future - our economy, environment and communities.

In our lifetime Nelson can expect

Water shortages
  • more droughts
  • a much higher fire risk
  • more water restrictions
Storm damage
  • a rise in sea level combined with bigger storms causing serious flooding to more roads and houses in our region.
  • more severe winds during storms causing more property damage.
Health impacts
  • more extreme heat waves
  • more widespread tropical diseases
Biodiversity impacts
  • more weeds and animal pests
  • loss of habitats for native species

Globally expect

  • sea levels to rise and flood many low lying regions of the world including Florida, Bangladesh and the Pacific Islands.
  • droughts and water shortages to cause problems in warmer countries.  In Australia, drought has had severe impacts on the whole country.

Can you make a difference?

Small actions count - especially when lots of people make them. If one person goes by bike or bus instead of by car twice a week for a 10km trip, for 50 weeks of the year, they will save 1000km of car travel per year.  That equates to 0.229 tonnes of CO2-e.  That might not sound worthwhile BUT, if 100 people in Nelson do the same thing, we will save 22.9 tonnes of CO2-e

Council's actions against climate change

Nelson City Council is committed to working on this issue. Reducing our use of fossil fuels is goal of Nelson 2060.

The Council is involved in a range of projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  These include:

  • The Eco Design Advisor provides free advice to households and businesses on how to design or change buildings to reduce energy and water demands.
  • Development of hydro-generation associated with delivery of water from Roding River to Water Treatment Plant. From 2009 this will generate 90 kilowatts of electricity per hour, equating to $15,000 of electricity savings per year.
  • Funding has been set aside to establish an anaerobic digestion plant when Bell Island wastewater treatment is upgraded.
  • The Council will be investigating the feasibility of collecting green waste and using anaerobic digestion plan to capture and use the methane.
  • The Council runs a number of community waste awareness and other environmental advocacy programmes (including Plant as you Go).
  • Pedestrian and cycle access improvements will be made in the inner city. The Railway Reserve shared pathway has been sealed and upgraded, and pedestrian refuges have been installed in a number of roads including St Vincent Street, Main Road Stoke, and Waimea Road.