Today the Dunedin City Council passed the Zero Carbon Plan 2030 – choosing the high investment opportunity (a total of around $137m) in a big win for the climate. The move comes after over five hundred Dunedinites urged the DCC to slash the cities emissions, and invest in decarbonisation. Over a dozen locals welcomed councillors into the DCC’s chambers this morning, encouraging them to vote for the climate.

350 Aoteraoa’s campaigner Adam Currie says ‘Today’s decision is a people-powered victory for the air we breathe, the places we call home, and the climate which sustains us. For example, the investment in active and public transport will not only cut emissions, but provide us all with healthier, safer and more accessible options to get to where we live, work and play. Today Dunedin made history – committing to being zero carbon in just seven years. I’m so proud to call Ōtepoti Dunedin home. Now it’s time for other councils across Aotearoa – as well as central government – to follow Dunedin’s leadership’

‘We’ll now be holding the Council to account – ensuring the DCC pulls every climate lever at its disposal – hard. Climate justice is Te Tiriti justice – and the decarbonisation of our city needs to be a just transition, that brings everybody together on the journey to a fairer, cleaner future for our city.’

The Zero Carbon Plan includes a 61% reduction in stationary energy emissions, in the next seven years. The plan proposes initiatives such as a solar farm on Green Island landfill, transitioning Moana pool and other public buildings from gas to electricity, and supporting households to transition to clean energy. This comes after 350 Ōtepoti’s ‘Homegrown Energy’ campaign specifically advocated for these policies.

Associate Professor of Public Health at Otago University Alex Macmillan says ‘Dunedin City Council’s decision to invest in climate action is going to save lives. About 120 people die per year from air pollution in Dunedin, with hundreds more hospitalised. This is a great investment in people’s health.’