Council has a climate change workstream to ensure that it and all Marlborough communities are prepared for the changes to come.
Council is also a signatory and is committed to the Local Government Leaders of NZ's (LGNZ) Climate Change Declaration 2017. This commits Council to take action in various areas relating to Climate Change.
Integrated work programme
Council commenced the Climate Change Integrated Work Programme to inventory the data and information Council needs to make climate change related decisions. The programme:
- assesses each Activity Group as to the impacts that climate change may have on that activity.
- ensures that climate change is being properly taken into account when relevant.
- ensures that staff have the data/information they need to assess the impacts of climate change.
Reports to Council
There have been the following reports to Council so far under the Integrated Work programme:
The programme has scheduled reports from the following to be presented to Councillors:
- Water - quality and quantity
- Resource Management Policy and Practice
- Other including: Biosecurity, Health, Building Control, Harbours, and Emergency Management
Council is incorporating mitigation actions across its activities.
Council has been running its Bike/Walk strategy for some years and has been providing walking and biking trails around the region.
Energy Efficiency Schemes
Council participates in a number of Energy Efficiency Schemes that provide advances to ratepayers to install clean home heating, water heating, solar power, and insulation in their homes. The scheme has been running since 2010 and has assisted over 1,000 ratepayers in that time.
Council Energy Efficiency
Council’s energy usage is monitored and a number of actions to increase efficiency and reduce usage have been implemented:
- retrofitting street lights with LED bulbs (including MDC buildings and the airport)
- retrofitting MDC offices with energy efficient air conditioning
- eco rated vehicles in the main Council fleet
- consideration of energy consumption in the design of major infrastructure (e.g. pump stations)
Further work is also being undertaken, including:
- conversion of waste streams to energy
- options for electric vehicles in future fleet leases
- energy efficient building and plant design
- plant operations being scheduled for low energy use times of day
- building management and systems policies to reduce energy consumption
Council staff also maintain a watching brief for national and local energy efficiency initiatives.
Council flares its gas created at Bluegums and is a participant in the Emissions Trading Scheme. A lot of work has gone into waste minimisation and actions to divert waste from the waste scheme into reuse and recycling.
Council’s forestry portfolio acts to mitigate against emissions we produce (so long as the forests are replanted).
Council owns around 3000 hectares of land under forest production. The properties were eligible for one-off pre-1990 carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. Council still holds these credits. The forestry off-sets emissions caused by Council activities.
Council is factoring adaptation into its forward planning. Marlborough is lucky compared to some other regions in not yet having faced significant impacts from climate change. This allows us a window of time to research, assess the risks and, together with our communities, put plans in place to deal with the impacts. It also allows us to learn from other experiences around the country.
Proposed Marlborough Environment Plan (PMEP)
The PMEP contains a climate change chapter with commitments to undertake a number of actions, both mitigation and adaptation.
You can access the chapter here:
Please note that some of the provisions are subject to appeal and may, therefore, change. The provisions that are subject to appeal are highlighted. All other provisions in the chapter can be treated as operative.
Cross-Council Staff Working Group
A working group has recently been set up to coordinate Council’s response to climate change across Council. The group will be tasked with keeping abreast of developments and ensuring Council is provided with the latest information on climate change. It will advise on what actions are appropriate and assist staff in factoring climate change into every aspect of their work. It will report regularly to Council.
NIWA climate change projections and impacts
In 2021 Council commissioned NIWA to prepare a report on projected Climate changes, and the potential impacts of those changes. The report covers temperature, rainfall, drought, extreme weather events, wind, sea level rise, and various other parameters, and discusses the potential impact of those changes on our district from both a natural environmental perspective, as well as the impacts on human health, agriculture, and business.
Marlborough District Council's Action Plan
Marlborough District Council Emissions Inventory Reports
Marlborough District Council engaged third party consultant Carbon EES to analyse and produce independent baseline emissions inventory reports for Council’s operations for the 2018/19 and 2019/20 financial years.
The reports provide a breakdown of where emissions are generated from Council operations and some suggestions to investigate on ways to reduce emissions from these operations.