A localised climate action plan was adopted by Waiheke Local Board at their business meeting this month.
Waiheke Local Climate Action Plan: Waiheke ki tai, Waiheke ki tua outlines a pathway for the island to reduce emissions, manage the impacts of climate change and support its communities to be resilient.
Waiheke’s plan is in response to the Auckland Climate Plan: Te Taruke a Tawhiri, developed in 2020 following Auckland Council’s climate emergency declaration in 2019.
Te Taruke a Tawhiri sets out a plan to halve emissions in the Auckland region by 2030 and reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Both plans have eight key areas of focus: natural environment; built environment; transport; the local economy; community and coast; food; Te Puāwaitanga ō Te Tātai; and energy and industry.
Auckland Council Low Carbon Specialist Liz Ross says the action plan was developed over the last two years based on a stocktake of Waiheke low carbon projects, a series of virtual meetings held with more than 50 community stakeholders, Auckland Council staff, and council-controlled organisations, and workshops with local board members.
“The Waiheke action plan builds on the community-led climate change response work already underway on the island.
“Organisations including Waiheke Resource Trust, Carbon Neutral Waiheke, Electric Island Waiheke, Cycle Action Waiheke, Waiheke Collective and the Piritahi Marae have been leading the way in this space.
“Adding to that are the climate initiatives undertaken by the Waiheke Local Board, Auckland Council, council-controlled organisations, Fullers and Vector.
“The plan brings all of these together, identifying further opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and recommending which agencies should lead on these opportunities,” she said.
The plan roll-out will see a combination of support and advocacy for new and existing projects, grant funding sought and partnerships developed and strengthened with businesses and community organisations.
An island-based Climate Activator will coordinate and monitor progress on the plan, facilitating an advisory group with representation from Māori and key stakeholders across the plan’s eight priority areas.
Waiheke Local Board Chair Cath Handley says the action plan has the bold goal of making Waiheke a national leader in climate change response by achieving a net positive carbon footprint by 2040.
“Waiheke’s vision is to respond to climate change, socially, economically, and ecologically, with a ‘can-do’ attitude, rather than wait for other decision-makers to create the changes we need.
“We want to create a resilient, self-sustaining, independent, and net carbon positive community where the mauri of people, the atmosphere and the natural environment on land and sea, thrives.
“The action plan was developed in alignment with our Waiheke Local Board Plan 2020. In particular, supporting our objective to respond effectively to the challenge of climate change and our aspiration to continue encouraging collaboration between existing community organisations and businesses already involved in low carbon initiatives.
“The board is really proud of our localised climate action plan and we can’t wait to support its implementation over the coming years,” she said.
The recruitment process for the Climate Activator position will begin early 2022.
Read Waiheke's plan: Waiheke Local Climate Action Plan: Waiheke ki tai, Waiheke ki tua [PDF]