A community approach to seven action areas is the key to help reduce the 881,540 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions generated by the Whau each year.
The actions are outlined in the Whau Local Board’s action plan on climate change Becoming a low carbon community: an action plan.
The action plan has an overall aim of a 40 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions per person by 2040.
The seven actions are:
- Championing Change
- Low Carbon Food
- Low Carbon Homes and Buildings
- Shop Low Carbon
- Low Carbon Economy
- The Way We Travel
- Green Spaces
Whau Local Board Chair Tracy Mulholland says that the plan will deliver multiple benefits that reach far beyond carbon emission reductions, such as improving health and saving money, with the community leading the charge.
“Through daily actions such as driving to work, buying imported produce, or heating homes, the average Aucklander generates around 9.6 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent every year,” she says.
“The Whau is home to some 84,000 residents. By establishing a local Low Carbon Action Plan, we are taking ownership of our slice of Auckland’s emissions and providing opportunities to reduce our carbon footprint.
“For example, we are the first local board to fund a community bike hub that is now being replicated in three other areas across Auckland. We were also one of the first boards to fund programmes such as Healthy Rentals and Home Energy Advice, offering residents free advice on how they can use energy more efficiently in their homes while bringing down their power bills and improving their health.
“Each one of our action areas comes with a flagship project, which we will endeavour to support and, where possible, prioritise initial funding. They also come with targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as opportunities to amplify existing local and regional initiatives already in operation in the Whau.
Taking the lead on climate change
“This is our chance to take the lead on climate change in our local community. Our plan, developed with our community, reflects and addresses our unique characteristics, culture and environment, and I am convinced that together we can affect positive change in our daily lives that makes a real difference to our carbon footprint,” says Ms Mulholland.
The plan was put together with the help of representatives from within the community, including EcoMatters Environment Trust, Kai Whau, Bike Green Bay, Auckland Permaculture, Avondale Community Action, Compost Collective, Sport Waitakere, Generation Zero, Community Waitakere and Community Fruit Harvesting.