Christchurch total net emissions increase by 1% over five years

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Mar 20, 2024 |

Christchurch’s total net emissions have increased by 1 percent over the past five years despite hundreds of millions of dollars being spent reducing emissions.

Between FY17 and FY23, total net emissions increased due to an increase in forest harvesting emissions, despite the 1% decrease in total gross emissions.

Between FY19 and FY23, on-road transport emissions changed by less than 0.1%.

Commercial vehicle emissions increased 4% due to an increase in light commercial vehicle emissions.

Car emissions decreased by 2% and bus emissions decreased by 19%, due to an increase in electric vehicles.

Per capita emissions decreased from 7.4 to 6.3 tCO2e per person per year as total gross emissions decreased by a proportionally larger amount than population growth.

Councillor Aaron Keown expressed his astonishment and concern at the meeting.

“After this many years, with our target being a 50% decrease by 2030, I was actually gobsmacked. I thought we would be much further along the path than this. It kind of brings to bear my worst fears that we’ve spent billions and got nowhere.

“And this is real money that has been spent: a couple of hundred million on cycleways to address climate change, maybe tens of millions, if not more than 100 million on bus lanes, bus upgrades, electric buses, new bus stops to increase public transport, not to mention all the other efforts by the council, the airport, private businesses, and individuals switching to solar. “

There’s been an incredible amount of money spent, and we’ve only moved the dial by 1%. Net. That is alarming. If this were a business, the shareholders would vote you out, saying you’ve failed miserably. Because a 1% increase is an absolute miserable fail. It’s our role to facilitate the way people want to live their lives, not dictate to them how to live.”

Councillor Sara Templeton said “yes, we have spent hundreds of millions of dollars so far on infrastructure to help people make a choice around their transport.

“But we have not yet finished those networks, partly because those who gaslight the community and talk about climate change continually vote against the changes needed and continue to try and delay action that is needed.

Those who continue to try and delay action condemn our city, our children, and their children to a city where the costs will be much greater than if we had acted now.”

Deputy Mayor Pauline Cotter said “the emissions report is really good because it’s actually enabling people to look at it and realize where we can all make the biggest impact, and we can see that it’s in transport for most people.”

Councillor Tyla-Harrison Hunt said “I think that we need to be doing more as a council.

“We did ask for things in the long term plan about what measures were are doing around climate change and there were a few crickets in the room because we’re not ready to fund them yet.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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