Climate Change - Preparing for the Challenge

How much should Council do?

In the Timaru District, climate change will have a variety of impacts; from higher sea levels to more intense rainfall, warmer temperatures and droughts potentially changing what food and crops we can grow. We are already seeing some of these effects through increased frequency of flooding and coastal erosion. Some of these impacts may be positive, (e.g. warmer winters, a longer crop growing season), but other impacts will challenge how we currently live.

The Challenge

In the Timaru District, climate change will have a variety of impacts; from higher sea levels to more intense rainfall, warmer temperatures and droughts potentially changing what food and crops we can grow. We are already seeing some of these effects through increased frequency of flooding and coastal erosion. Some of these impacts may be positive, (e.g. warmer winters, a longer crop growing season), but other impacts will challenge how we currently live.
We are starting to gather information about the impact of climate change locally to factor into our planning and consider any future action. We recognise we need a much stronger base of information to determine the impact on our communities and Council’s assets, and a clear strategy to guide potential solutions. This might involve some hard decisions.

  • Will we have to retreat from some areas?
  • Where should we grow?
  • How will it impact our economy?
  • What will this cost?
  • How will we meet our carbon emissions obligations?

What we do know

There are also increasing legislative requirements on local authorities to report climate change related information such as our planning for impacts, and managing risks.
In the future, it is expected that Council will act and show leadership on climate change. This is, in part driven by the national climate change and zero carbon programme, but also recognises that the effects of climate change will be felt in a very local way. Our local environment, assets and communities will be impacted. We will need to show progress on reducing emissions and to demonstrate steps that are being taken to work with the community, and provide local education on climate change effects, impacts and opportunities for reducing our district’s carbon footprint. Working with climate change affected communities to plan for any adaptation or mitigation needed as a result of climate change will also be required.

The options

Our preferred option is option 2.

Do the Minimum
Option Summary

This option would mean we do not allocate dedicated funding or resource to focus on adapting to climate change, or mitigating the impacts of climate change.
What this Option will look like

Under this option very little progress will be made on planning for climate change to ensure that our community remains resilient.

Council will not be able to respond over the 10 years of the LTP to climate change affected communities, questions and requests for direction and engagement on how to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

Costs

Note - Any funding needed for remedial work on Council's assets or services due do damage caused by climate change will need to be met through existing budgets or unplanned expenditure

$0

additional on rates

$0

additional debt

Do More
Option Summary

This option allows sufficient funding to dedicate resource to make some progress in the area of climate change.

This would include the development of a Climate Change Strategy within the first three years of the LTP.

What this Option will look like

The Climate Change Strategy will focus on:

  • Adaptation: investing in research to better understand the climate change risks to Council’s services and infrastructure, and planning for how Council can respond to these risks.
  • Mitigation: establishing Council’s carbon footprint, and beginning work to reduce emissions from the services we provide our community.
  • Work with Iwi and other stakeholders on climate change outcomes.
  • Providing for a small amount of community engagement, working across the District with communities and businesses to lead and support climate change resilience efforts.
  • Provide us with enough resource to meet new legislative reporting requirements and to collaborate with the Canterbury Mayoral Forum Climate Change workstream.
Costs

Note - Any funding needed for remedial work on Council's assets or services due do damage caused by climate change will need to be met through existing budgets or unplanned expenditure

$3.6M

Additional new funding (average of $360K per annum) funded by rates.

Do Even More
Option Summary

We could increase the amount of funding dedicated to climate change.

This would allow us to accelerate and increase the work outlined in Option 2.

What this Option will look like

Further work undertaken with this option will include:

  • Undertake more modelling of the impacts on specific Council services, and extend this work to at risk communities, looking at options to adapt or mitigate the effects
  • Accelerate the reduction in Council emissions
  • More work with Iwi and stakeholders;
  • Actively engage with our community to adapt to climate change, and reduce emissions across the District
  • Dedicate resources to working proactively with climate change affected communities and industries to plan for any adaptation needed.
Costs

Note - Any funding needed for remedial work on Council's assets or services due do damage caused by climate change will need to be met through existing budgets or unplanned expenditure

$5.9M

Additional new funding ($585K per annum), funded by rates

Preferred Option

1

Do the Minimum

2

Do More

3

Do Even More

Option Summary

This option would mean we do not allocate dedicated funding or resource to focus on adapting to climate change, or mitigating the impacts of climate change.

This option allows sufficient funding to dedicate resource to make some progress in the area of climate change.

This would include the development of a Climate Change Strategy within the first three years of the LTP.

We could increase the amount of funding dedicated to climate change.

This would allow us to accelerate and increase the work outlined in Option 2.

What this Option will look like

Under this option very little progress will be made on planning for climate change to ensure that our community remains resilient.

Council will not be able to respond over the 10 years of the LTP to climate change affected communities, questions and requests for direction and engagement on how to adapt and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Climate Change Strategy will focus on:

  • Adaptation: investing in research to better understand the climate change risks to Council’s services and infrastructure, and planning for how Council can respond to these risks.
  • Mitigation: establishing Council’s carbon footprint, and beginning work to reduce emissions from the services we provide our community.
  • Work with Iwi and other stakeholders on climate change outcomes.
  • Providing for a small amount of community engagement, working across the District with communities and businesses to lead and support climate change resilience efforts.
  • Provide us with enough resource to meet new legislative reporting requirements and to collaborate with the Canterbury Mayoral Forum Climate Change workstream.

Further work undertaken with this option will include:

  • Undertake more modelling of the impacts on specific Council services, and extend this work to at risk communities, looking at options to adapt or mitigate the effects
  • Accelerate the reduction in Council emissions
  • More work with Iwi and stakeholders;
  • Actively engage with our community to adapt to climate change, and reduce emissions across the District
  • Dedicate resources to working proactively with climate change affected communities and industries to plan for any adaptation needed.

Costs

Note - Any funding needed for remedial work on Council's assets or services due do damage caused by climate change will need to be met through existing budgets or unplanned expenditure

$0

additional on rates

$0

additional debt

$3.6M

Additional new funding (average of $360K per annum) funded by rates.

$5.9M

Additional new funding ($585K per annum), funded by rates