In a council meeting on Tuesday 23 November 2021, elected members voted to adopt Nelson City Council’s Te Mahere Mahi a te Āhuarangi Climate Action Plan, a living document which sets out Council’s commitments to address climate change over the next decade.

As part of the motion, Council also voted to establish a climate change governance oversight group to support development of a strategic framework for climate change as well as engagement with iwi and other key partners.

The Plan includes mitigation initiatives that will support the achievement of Council targets for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) operational emissions and monitoring progress towards achieving net zero carbon by 2050, in line with national government targets.

The Climate Action Plan identifies mitigation and adaptation initiatives across both Council operations and community.

Mitigation initiatives are actions or interventions to reduce GHG emissions, tackling the causes of climate change, while adaptation initiatives aim to build resilience to current and future impacts of climate change. 

The main initiatives Council will use to reduce emissions are improving energy efficiency, use of renewables, low emissions vehicles for its fleet, behaviour change and waste minimisation. Council is also supporting the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum and Businesses for Climate Action to advocate for reducing community emissions.

Chair of the Environment and Climate Committee, Kate Fulton, says the adoption of the Climate Action Plan supports the partnership between Council and the community to take meaningful action.

“Climate Change remains a significant global challenge. Nelson City Council is working towards reducing emissions, as well as identifying different options for adaptation by assessing these against various climate change scenarios, creating a more resilient and hopeful future for all.

“With this Plan, Council is showing its commitment to climate action and demonstrating that climate action is front and centre of both our work programmes and our decision making. The establishment of a governance oversight group allows us to work with iwi and other partners to strengthen our collective response. The next phase of work is critical in educating and motivating behavioural change as well as communicating how we measure our successes.”

The Climate Action Plan will feature on the Council website, forming an important accountability mechanism for measuring Council’s progress in addressing climate change.

In August 2020, Council committed to adopting central government’s five-year national emissions reduction budgets, to ensure that it takes early and substantive action towards achieving carbon neutral status.

Council has also committed to achieving long-term government targets. These are net zero emissions of all GHGs (other than biogenic methane) by 2050, a reduction of 10% of the 2017 biogenic methane measurement by 2030, and a 24-47% reduction of the 2017 biogenic methane measurement by 2050.

The Climate Action Plan brings together all the climate change related projects, actions, initiatives, budgets and timeframes Council has approved funding for over the next ten years, as set out in the Long Term Plan 2021-31.

As a living document, the Climate Action Plan will be updated as new climate change related initiatives and resourcing are approved, giving the public access to the latest information about Council actions. Similarly, when projects are completed or significantly altered, this will also be recognised and communicated.

Reporting on Council operational emissions reflects an ongoing commitment from Council to manage and reduce its operational emissions. Further details can be found at

To read the full Climate Action Plan go to