Wellington City Plan To Officially Pioneer Electric Car Use


More proof of how innovative and forward thinking the capital is. Wellington City Councillors this week will discuss a proposal that Wellington be an early adopter of electric vehicle technology.

RUSH HOUR in Wellington

RUSH HOUR in Wellington

Councillor Ray Ahipene-Mercer says that it makes sense for the council to make sure the implications of this new technology are explored in more depth.

A wide-ranging and comprehensive draft 2010 climate change action plan released this weekend by the council identifies the need to address global climate change as a citywide issue, requiring local solutions, research and investigation and embraces actions in response to impacts from climate change such as sea level rise.

The capital’s mayor, Kerry Prendergast is attending the Copenhagen climate change talks and will take part in a meeting of mayors from leading international cities, such as London, Toronto and Los Angeles. Only 100 cities globally have received invitations. She says she is keen to share her city’s approach and bring some of the world’s best practice back to Wellington. “We have so much potential to build on here.”

Cr Ahipene-Mercer believes that action is needed, particularly to assess what effect changes like sea level rise might have on the city and how the council can assist businesses, communities and individuals to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

He says that the proposed plan responds to community expectations for the city to take the lead on climate change.

“It builds on things that we are already involved with, including improvements to encourage walking and cycling, greater use of public transport, leading-edge studies with research institutes, and technology innovations that are being developed in partnership with the region’s economic development agency Grow Wellington.

WORRY; What effect will the sea level have on Wellington?

WORRY; What effect will the sea level have on Wellington?

“All these actions bring together the best science, planning and international thinking, ensuring that every decision that the council makes in future will help us meet our climate change goals,” he says.

Cr Ahipene-Mercer says while efforts to combat greenhouse gas emissions need to be accelerated, this can no longer be the only primary focus.
“We also need to strengthen existing efforts to plan for the challenges that climate change will bring.  Climate change is now a global reality, and there are obvious implications, particularly for waterfront cities like Wellington.

“We also need to be innovative and future-focussed to give our city an edge in responding to climate change issues.”

Steps the council has taken in the past include measuring greenhouse gas emissions, capturing methane from the city’s landfill and using it to generate electricity, and receiving carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme for areas of forest located on council land.

If the council’s strategy and policy committee agrees next week to the plan, the proposals will be available for community input about April.





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