Provincial climate emergencies going national?

During the week the Canterbury Regional Council symbolically declared a climate emergency. Nelson City Council did the same soon after.

Environment Southland  and Invercargill City Council are considering doing something similar.

And Climate Change Minister James Shaw says that “some MPS” are considering doing it at a national level.

RNZ on Thursday: After Canterbury, Nelson declares climate emergency

Canterbury Regional Council earlier today voted to declare a climate emergency, becoming the first council in the country to do so.

The council said it joins other local governments in Australia, the UK, Canada and the United States in adopting the stance.

“We have no doubt at council that urgency is required – the science is irrefutable and we have for some time now, been responding accordingly,” deputy chair Peter Scott said.

This morning’s vote followed lobbying from the environmental activist group Extinction Rebellion.

While declaring a climate emergency is largely symbolic, members of Extinction Rebellion said it was an important first step towards achieving bigger environmental goals and openly acknowledging the seriousness of climate change.

Councillor Lan Pham said she hoped it had a snowball effect and inspired other organisations around the country.

Three councillors voted against it, saying there were other options to tackle climate change which the council was already pursuing.

So it wasn’t unanimous.

Regional council chair Steve Lowndes is an ordinary member of Extinction Rebellion, and as such declared an interest and did not take part in the council decision.

Lowndes’ interests are likely to have play a part in it going before the council.

Nelson later joined Canterbury in declaring a climate emergency.

A decision was made by the Nelson City Council, after a three-hour debate this afternoon.

Nelson Mayor Rachel Reese brought the declaration to the table because of the level of community interest, and noticeable environmental changes in the past few years.

She said the region had recently endured natural disasters on a scale she’d never before seen.

Some councillors were nervous about making what they called a symbolic gesture, and its implications for ratepayers.

Efforts to delay the decision were lost eight votes to five, but a decision was finally made 10 votes to three.

Also some opposed.

Stuff on Friday: Southern mayors to consider climate change state of emergency

Southern councils are watching closely the moves made by Canterbury and Nelson to declare a climate state of emergency.

Environment Southland chief executive Rob Phillips said the council would be discussing the moves made by Environment Canterbury and Nelson with its councillors in upcoming weeks.

“The Southland Mayoral Forum and their councils are taking climate change seriously and have recently released a report on the likely impact of climate change in Southland,” he said.

Invercargill mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt said it would look into declaring a state of emergency but there were circumstances for Invercargill that needed to be taken into consideration.

“We will look into it but it needs to be looked into properly,” he said.

The effect of a declaration would have on industries such as the Tiwai Aluminium Smelter would need to be taken into consideration, Shadbolt said.

There would be huge celebration and a huge uproar if the smelter was shut down. I don’t know if no energy alternatives to smelting aluminium have been developed yet.

Stuff Friday night: MPs may vote to declare national climate emergency following regional leads

Climate Change Minister James Shaw agrees global warming has created an emergency, and applauded Environment Canterbury (ECan) and Nelson City councillors for taking the step.

And he revealed some MPs are in discussions about taking a similar stance on a national level.

That would require MPs to approve a motion in Parliament, as they have done in Britain and Ireland in the last few months.

The state of emergency isn’t binding and has no legal standing.

So what’s the point?

But Shaw says it does have practical significance.

“It says to council offices you need to respond to this as an emergency.

“And I have to say, my own experience of being in Government over the last 18 months, is it is hard to martial the resources across Government around this overall goal unless you get a political statement that says ‘look the elected members are saying this is so serious that we are actually declaring it as an emergency and therefore we have to organise around it’.”

More than 500 local authorities in 10 countries have adopted the stance which recognises that action on climate change should become a priority.

There is no single definition of what it means, but most regions want to become carbon-neutral by 2050, at the latest.

“For those councils it will be a significant move because it sends a signal to their own communities that they are treating this very seriously.

It means they are talking seriously about it, but it doesn’t mean they are doing anything serious about it.

 

Previous Post
Next Post

66 Comments

  1. David

     /  18th May 2019

    Its a fig leaf for doing nothing, most of this environmental stuff is, just look at Germany puffing its chest and admonishing the US over quitting the Paris agreement yet failing terribly to curb its own emissions while the US is destroying theirs.
    Its all virtue signalling and doing nothing yourself.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th May 2019

      Fig leaf ??? I love that 😀 That’s about what it is.

      Have you seen the Peanuts cartoon where Snoopy’s lying shivering on his kennel and Lucy and (Linus ?) go past, all wrapped up ? They say that they’ll go and do something, so walk over and say ‘Be of good cheer, Snoopy !’ ‘Yes, be of good cheer !’ and walk away, leaving him still shivering and looking puzzled (???s in a balloon over his head)

      They should call this the Canute’s Council Ruling.

    • @David – Germany’s emissions fell 4.5% last year, now down 30% on 1990 levels. USA has fallen 11% since their peak in 2007, now back to 1990 levels. Sure they could do more, but they are doing quite a lot. NZ hasn’t started decreasing emissions yet.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th May 2019

    If any of these fools actually believed there was an emergency they would do something about their own bureaucracies that are preventing home owners from protecting their properties from erosion. The biggest bunch of hypocrites in the business.

    • Griff.

       /  18th May 2019

      Actually Alan the reason why they dont allow homeowners to try to stop erosion is because they are aware of the future under climate change.
      One homeowner building a sea wall makes every one else’s erosion worse. Eventually the property will go any way.
      Cnut the Great had it right.
      Only the deluded think a council or homeowner can stop the ocean.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th May 2019

        Tell the Dutch, Griff. In the Nelson case it was the entire beach front residents group, not a single owner.

        • Kitty Catkin

           /  18th May 2019

          Griff; see mine above, I immediately thought of Cnut (or Canute as he is better known in England) and his council.

          I love the image of the King sitting there with the tide rising and the councillors in a cleft stick as they had to make the decision – did they admit to being a lot of flattering (in the old sense of the word) toadies or did they keep assuring him that he was indeed omnipotent and risk him drowning ? I bet that Canute had trouble keeping a straight face.

          • Duker

             /  18th May 2019

            This one ?
            Norwegian billionaire Kjell Inge Røkke has profited from offshore drilling. But now the businessman, who started as a fisherman, wants to give back with a colossal yacht for marine research. The vessel will be able to scoop up around five tons of plastic every day, and then melt it down – all in yet another private effort to help clean up the ocean.
            At least he is sort of avoiding being a hypocrite…but still profited from offshore drilling

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  18th May 2019

              I’m not sure. It doesn’t look like the one I saw.

  3. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  18th May 2019

    It’s just a bunch of folks being led by overseas Green activists.

    https://climateemergency.uk/blog/category/climate-emergency/

    • adamsmith1922

       /  18th May 2019

      To restate a recent quote from Minister Genter ‘We need a few eco fascists to stop opposing science and resisting techology

  4. David

     /  18th May 2019

    In the latest in a long line of hypocrites the singer Drake who campaigns and sings for the planet has bought himself a large private jet.

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  18th May 2019

      I don’t know him, but there’s a Norwegian mill/billionaire whose lifestyle and supposed greenness are totally at odds as I remember. Corky admired him greatly because he’s made money, which meant that he was a great success.

  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  18th May 2019

    Climate Emergency… just another language mangle straight out of the Goebbels Guardian machine.
    https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2019/05/17/guardian-hacks-told-to-use-scary-language/

  6. Zedd

     /  18th May 2019

    I dont see DCC doing likewise; Sth Dn is among the list of ‘most likely to suffer from rising sea level’.. in the next decade !

    The whisper is, that the mayor (D Cull) is ‘in denial’ about Climate Change ?

    I was at a meeting.. an old guy stood up & said (paraphrased) that anyone who is still a C-C denier, needs to come to Sth D (spec. St Clair/Kilda) & just LOOK. He went on to say that ;in his youth, they used to sit on the beach & it rarely even reached the level of the current seawall (at St. Clair). In recent years, it is now crashing OVER the sea wall. they have even closed the swimming pool (a few times) after it was overflowed by sea water !

    …. Yet there are still some saying ‘It is just an aboration or ‘part of a normal cycle’..
    “B-S” sez I 😦

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  18th May 2019

      Show us the Dunedin tide gauge data, Zedd.

      • Zedd

         /  18th May 2019

        I live here.. I dont need to engage with your nonsense.. Alan 😦

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th May 2019

          Obviously you have a plentiful supply of your own, Zedd.

          I’m presuming the recorders of the Dunedin tide gauge data also live(d) there?

          • Zedd

             /  18th May 2019

            I just have to, look down the street gutter drainage… they are full of water; to about a foot below the street level. When I moved here (about 15 years ago) It were much lower (not even visible).. most of the time !

            Its called: REALITY.. Alan; I invite you, to ‘come see’ :/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th May 2019

              As per below the Dunedin sea has risen about 2cm in those 15 years, Zedd. Whatever is filling your gutter, it isn’t the sea.

              I would strongly suspect your Lefty councils If I were you, Zedd.

            • Zedd

               /  18th May 2019

              ‘I would strongly suspect your Lefty councils If I were you, Zedd.’ sez AW

              ..more ‘loony left’ rhetoric, obviously you know nothing about DCC makeup: 2 ‘greens’, a ex-Labour MP & the rest are a mixture of business owners etc. (most are likely ‘right-leaning’)

            • Trevors_Elbow

               /  18th May 2019

              Zedd – how much of the water in your gutter problem is because the DCC haven’t maintain the storm water drain system in South Dunners? Do you know. I seem too recall the last couple of flood events were down poor maintenance of the drainage/storm water system in Sth Dunners….
              you are living on an old reclaimed wetland in Sth Dunners. Why not abandon it back to nature and let the wildlife return??? Shouldn’t that be a true Greens response to Sth Dunners issues???

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th May 2019

            FYI:
            Other sites with less marked increases were:
            Auckland: 1.60 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
            Dunedin: 1.42 (±0.08) mm/year from 1899 to 2015
            Lyttelton: 2.12 (±0.09) mm/year from 1901 to 2015
            Moturiki (Mount Maunganui): 1.9 (±0.25) mm/year from 1973 to 2015
            New Plymouth: 1.37 (±0.16) mm/year for 1920 and 1955 to 2015.

            http://archive.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/environment/environmental-reporting-series/environmental-indicators/Home/Marine/coastal-sea-level-rise.aspx

            • Griff.

               /  18th May 2019

              Here is a real big word for you Alan.
              Acceleration.
              Get a competent adult to explain what it means and why it makes posting a linear trend look stupid.

            • Zedd

               /  18th May 2019

              tautoko Griff.. recent climate data, shows more exponential change.. NOT linear !

            • Duker

               /  18th May 2019

              That’s a fake ‘adjusted’ data…
              The sea level around Dunedin doesn’t know about adjusted data it only knows what is happening…. Computer models to make up future numbers won’t work….none of the previous predictions of dissapearing ice or flooded roads have come to pass in the timelines suggested.

    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  18th May 2019

      South Dunedin is subsiding.
      It’s Geology, not Climate that’s the problem.
      https://www.tvnz.co.nz/one-news/new-zealand/south-dunedin-consistently-sinking-towards-sea-level
      Build on a swamp and you will get problems…..

      • The whole area south of the harbour including South Dunedin, St Kilda and St Clair is land reclaimed from harbour and swamp. Parts were originally reclaimed by Chinese whom planted market gardens.

        A large part of the industrial area and CBD are also reclaimed, also where the Polytech and Teachers College, stadium and University Oval as well as Logan Park (it was lake Logan).

        • Duker

           /  18th May 2019

          Swamp land subsides even when it isnt built on, plus its soft harbour sediments as this was once an arm of the sea through to St Clair beach
          The shape of Otago harbour increases peak level of any high tides when the wind is blowing in the right direction.
          Similar geologic processes/wind directions in hawkes bay where the sea is eating away at beaches on southern edge but not northern. The hawkes Bay earthquake of 1931 lifted the land around Napier and its beaches ( some old shipwrecks are now well up the beach slope) and conversely lowered the land around the coast at Haumoana and through to Hastings ( one of the rivers changed course because of the opportunity, to ‘run downhill rather than up’). The beach erosion is an ongoing thing not helped by the wind direction focusing its energy against this part of the bay ( Napier airport runway alignment shows direction of predominant winds)

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th May 2019

        Yes, time for Zedd and his Council to visit Holland and learn what to do. But of course they won’t.

        • Zedd

           /  18th May 2019

          oh dear.. when in doubt.. ‘baffle em with B-S’ 😀 :/

          btw; I dont think the gutters ARE full of Sea water, rather that they are just not draining away, as well as they once did.. when I first moved here.. methinks it could be; ‘sea level rise’ ???

          Thx PG, yes I know this info. 🙂

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th May 2019

            2cm sea rise hasn’t done it, Zedd. Poor land management almost certainly has.

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  18th May 2019

            We had a major flood down town a decade ago but it wasn’t sea level rise that caused it. Council contractors had driven a public toilet sewer pipe through the stormwater drain and blocked it. That was also aggravated by regional councils demanding costly resource consents to maintain and clear thousands of beach outlets around Northland. Bureaucratic madness and incompetence is a more urgent threat than climate change.

            • Zedd

               /  18th May 2019

              I hear you Alan.. BUT are you also just, echoing C-C denial, behind all your ‘data’ ? :/

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th May 2019

              It’s not my data, it’s your Government’s, Zedd.

        • Gerrit

           /  18th May 2019

          But he wont. Zedd try reading this in full where not only they have sea protection but also river flood controls.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flood_control_in_the_Netherlands

          Their expectation is a 1300mm sea level rise by 2100.

          “The Second Delta Committee, or Veerman Committee, officially Staatscommissie voor Duurzame Kustontwikkeling (State Committee for Durable Coast Development) gave its advice in 2008. It expects a sea level rise of 65 to 130 cm by the year 2100. Among its suggestions are:

          to increase the safety norms tenfold and strengthen dikes accordingly,
          to use sand replenishment to broaden the North Sea coast and allow it to grow naturally,
          to use the lakes in the southwest river delta as river water retention basins,
          to raise the water level in the IJsselmeer to provide freshwater.

          These measures would cost approximately 1 billion Euro/year.”

        • Zedd

           /  18th May 2019

          Pls forgive my ‘frank, candid’ remarks.. BUT I’m just fed-up with reading/hearing CRAP, from folks who are obviously not concerned or affected, by this issue.. don’t live in an ‘inter-tidal’ area

          I heard recently (on ZB) a man also saying that; melting sea-ice was irrelevant, to sea-level rise (maybe true) BUT the host then asked him, if this would not also impact on glaciers & land-ice (NZ, Greenland & Antarctica etc.) he just umm’d/ahh’d & hung up

          btw; recent report, atmospheric CO2 has now passed 415ppm. When I did H-Sc (1970s) science, we were told it was about 300.

          Q) why do they call it a Greenhouse gas, IF it is really irrelevant to the temperature/climate

          Data can be often ‘manipulated’ to show; ‘white is black’ or vice versa.. IF thats what you are trying to ‘prove’ OR who is funding your ‘research’ ? :/ 😦

      • Griff.

         /  18th May 2019

        Yes Maggy sea level is not rising……If you read crank blogs and belivce such nonsense .

        Good thing no one with any standing odes here .

        Global Sea level is rising at about 4.8 mm a year Dunedin is subsiding at about 1 mm a year .
        it does not take a genius to work out sea level rise is already far more significant than subsidence in Dunedin.

        Fortunately our leadership does not get information from crank blogs they find online.
        https://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/400m-assets-risk-sea-level-rise

        More than $400million worth of roads and other assets owned by the Dunedin City Council are under threat from predicted sea level rise, underscoring the need for government help, Mayor Dave Cull says.

        The figures for Dunedin were released as a major report by Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) outlined the expected costs from sea level rise for councils across the country.

        The report estimated $5.1billion of council assets across the country – including roads, pipes, buildings and other facilities – were at risk from 1m of sea level rise by 2100.

        The estimated cost jumped to nearly $8billion for 1.5m of sea level rise, and to $13.3billion for 3m of sea level rise

        Those who deny reality are looking more like the gibbering cranks they are with every passing day.
        Isn’t that good .

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  18th May 2019

          Bureaucrats and politicians with their hands out, Griff. What’s not to like?

          • Dennis Horne

             /  18th May 2019

            A vast conspiracy involving 70,000 climate scientists and every scientific institution and society on the planet.

            Oh NO, the IPCC is not the world authority on Earth’s climate, oh no, it’s a political organisation trying to steal your money and precious bodily fluids and dull your brain.

            Thank goodness we have wattsup, notricks, notalotofpeopleknow and other crank sites to set us straight on the REAL science.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  18th May 2019

              Raving again, Dennis? No, Griff was quoting local government politicians and bureaucrats hot on the hunt for taxpayer money.

  7. Zedd

     /  18th May 2019

    Fun & games ?
    OR perhaps C-C deniers doing the ‘King Midas’ thing ?

    maybe its time to..stop looking at your ‘data’ & actually look out the window.. as I often do 🙂

    • Zedd

       /  18th May 2019

      oops.. I mean King Canute 😀

      • Duker

         /  18th May 2019

        So your eyes can see now what climate models predict in 20 years. Sea level rise hasnt been perceptible to human eye especially when the predominant effect is tides which have long cycles of their own variability. ( some can only be discerned over decades)
        What you see is weather not climate.

    • Maggy Wassilieff

       /  18th May 2019
      • Duker

         /  18th May 2019

        from Maggies link
        “”But what then happens is people take the Lidar information and try to get clever and they say, ‘right, plus 1m [sea-level] and this is what it will look like with 1m of sea-level rise’.

        “And they couldn’t be further wrong. They couldn’t be further annoying for the people who have got their house sitting under that blue bit.

        “The reason it is really annoying is the current problems in South Dunedin are where the run-off comes from the hills. It is a flooding issue from surface run-off and it is not a groundwater-rise issue.
        “”So we have to dispel that myth around what happens when you force the theme of the sea-level rise.”

        When I visted Cairns – which mostly used to be on a swamp next to estuary- I was impressed by their massive canal like open drains running through the town, surface drainage from the surrounding hills is your primary problem, then the effects of land subsidence which varies in former swamps and with that the effects of sea level rise. Unlike Gold Coast tidal range in the area of Cairns is more noticeable

        • Griff.

           /  18th May 2019

          FWIW
          The story has misrepresented Simon and his views He is aware that increasing rainfall due to climate change causing significant issues of drainage and believes it is as great a threat as sea level rise.
          Simon was a key note speaker at the resent Met soc annual conference with the theme.
          The Hydrological Cycle in Changing Times,

          https://www.metsoc.org.nz/successful-annual-conference/
          Simon Cox talked about the effect of climate change on the availability of freshwater and the effect on the hydrological cycle.

          • Maggy Wassilieff

             /  18th May 2019

            The area is characterised by episodes of heavy rainfall.
            Check out the 1923 flooding in South Dunedin
            https://www.orc.govt.nz/media/2217/the-natural-hazards-of-south-dunedin-report-july-2016.pdf

            • Dennis Horne

               /  18th May 2019

              Yes, I guess persistent drought in areas where the sea level rise is a problem would be helpful.

              I note rivers drying up in China is now a problem, but the silly Chinese don’t see that will save them from AGW-induced flooding in their industrial areas.

              Tell me again why you think the last IPCC synthesis report and warning is a scam.

          • Duker

             /  18th May 2019

            Simon Cox, well at least he’s a renowned scientist , unlike that Nye numpty. However Cox’s field is stuctural geology and tectonics.

  8. Pink David

     /  18th May 2019

    Interesting to contrast what is happening in Brazil.

    “Brazil pulled out of hosting the 2019 U.N. climate summit, and has now canceled a United Nations climate change event that was to be held in August.

    Environment Minister Ricardo Salles … said he was more interested in dealing with the problems that affect Brazilians who aren’t concerned about “climate change in Paris” or “meetings in Stockholm.”

    “It’s an industry,” he said of the environmental movement. “It’s an industry of consultants, an industry of lectures, an industry of seminars.””

  9. Dennis Horne

     /  18th May 2019

    The argument isn’t about South Dunedin sinking, it’s about sea level rise. South Dunedin is just an example of an area affected by SLR. Another is Bucklands Beach, where king tides are now crossing the road and flooding houses.

    The sea does not rise evenly, it depends on winds and tides. Satellites are exquisitely accurate and read the whole globe. The sea level is rising; the rate accelerating in line with the loss of ice.

    That’s the science from the scientific institutes. The goto place for rational people. Who want reality, not reassurance their grandchildren won’t vomit on their memories.

    • Dennis Horne

       /  18th May 2019

      The local SLR also depends on geography, because when the polar icesheet melts the water moves away from the pole. Gravitational effect of lower mass.

      • Duker

         /  18th May 2019

        Bucklands Beach is exactly like South Dunedin in that it’s a former arm of the sea which has been filled by sand and soft sediments….which are sinking. Even man made causeways around Auckland have the same result when built over soft muds.
        Tamaki Dr over Hobson Bay
        North Western Mwy between Pt Chev and Tell Atatu( since raised higher)
        Another sinking spot just north of old toll plaza for harbour Bridge Mwy

        Geology is your friend when you have correct maps…..this used to be part of my job and I know most of the soft spots around Auckland and conversely the Rocky areas

    • Gerrit

       /  18th May 2019

      Bucklands Beach has been flooding from King Tides since the early 1950’s due to inadequate drainage (sounds familiar?) Bet that drainage has not been upgraded especially with more and more housing placed on the peninsular between Bucks and Eastern. Runoff from impervious roads, roofs, driveways, etc. has to go somewhere and it flows to the low lying areas, through storm water drains into the estuary. King tides have always infiltrated the storm water system and during heavy rains to rain water gets backed up and floods the low lying areas.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bucklands_Beach

      Hard to blame the 1955 flood to global warming/climate change. Upgrade the drains and the flooding will be alleviated.

      • Duker

         /  18th May 2019

        See my piece about it being a former arm of the sea filled with softer muds and sands

  1. Provincial climate emergencies going national? — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition