This is how we're responding in Ashburton.
Governance and other initiatives
Ashburton Mayor Donna Favel signed the New Zealand Local Government Leaders’ Climate Change Declaration in 2018. Signatories are committed to making and implementing plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, engaging with tangata whenua, and promoting resilience within local communities.
The District Council adopted its first formal climate change policy in May 2019.
The policy states that it will respond to climate change in ways that:
- Ensure the sustainability of Council assets and services for the present and future wellbeing of the Ashburton District.
- Enhance the resilience and preparedness of Ashburton households and businesses in the present and for the future.
- Reduce carbon emissions from its own activities.
The Ashburton District Council has also:
- Begun work to manage energy use and, from there, map its own carbon footprint, which will lead to further opportunities to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions. Studies funded by EECA have identified energy saving opportunities at a number of council sites, which are to be taken.
- Almost completed a project to replace all Council street lighting across the district with LED lightbulbs. This will reduce electricity use, maintenance costs and waste from replaced light bulbs.
- Upgraded its Resource Recovery Centre to improve recycling and recovery and reuse of materials.
- Set aside disaster relief funds for flooding.
- Incorporated sustainable features into the design of the new Library and Civic Centre, including use of laminated timber in construction (which reduces the carbon emissions required for concrete and steel production and sequesters carbon in the timber) and minimising the cost of heating and cooling by use of heat exchange technology and bores into groundwater.
- Adopted a walking and cycling strategy to promote the health and energy benefits of active transport.
- Supported use of electric vehicles by enabling EV charging stations to be located on council land, in association with Electricity Ashburton.
- Continued to enhance biodiversity through the activities of its biodiversity Subcommittee and community grants for habitat protection.