Otago Daily Times

Car­bon pol­icy fail­ure noted

- JOHN GIBB john.gibb@odt.co.nz

SPE­CIFIC poli­cies are needed if the Dunedin City Council is to reach its 2030 car­bon neu­tral tar­get, As­so­ciate Prof Janet Stephen­son said yes­ter­day.

Prof Stephen­son, who di­rects the Uni­ver­sity of Otago Cen­tre for Sus­tain­abil­ity, told about 50 peo­ple at a uni­ver­sity energy sym­po­sium that the city’s re­cent energy trends had been mainly ad­verse.

She based her com­ments largely on the cen­tre’s re­cently­re­leased an­nual Dunedin Energy Study, which was funded by the DCC.

In her talk at the Otago Energy Re­search Cen­tre’s lat­est sym­po­sium on cam­pus, she said that in the fi­nan­cial year to June last year, fossil fuel use, par­tic­u­larly diesel fuel, had in­creased, and green­house gas re­lease was also up.

‘‘A lot of that has been driven by the rise in diesel,’’ she said.

Some pos­i­tive de­vel­op­ments had in­cluded in­creased use of so­lar pan­els and electric ve­hi­cles, but these were out­weighed by some more ad­verse out­comes.

She agreed with a later ques­tioner that in­creased electric bike use was sig­nif­i­cant, and bet­ter health could re­sult.

The lat­est cen­tre an­nual energy re­port showed that the 2030 car­bon­neu­tral goal would not be reached au­to­mat­i­cally, but would re­quire spe­cific poli­cies to reach the tar­get.

Ul­ti­mately a ‘‘huge amount of work’’ was re­quired, in­clud­ing to de­velop poli­cies aimed at achiev­ing the tar­get, as well as ‘‘city­wide col­lab­o­ra­tion’’.

The data for 2018­19 showed the city’s energy con­sump­tion con­tin­ued to rise, at a rate higher than the city’s pop­u­la­tion growth and eco­nomic growth, she said.

Diesel made up 36% of all energy use within the city, fol­lowed by elec­tric­ity (23%), petrol (20%), biomass (13%), coal (4%), lpg (3%) and sul­phur (2%), the study said.

Energy cen­tre co­director As­so­ciate Prof Michael Jack chaired the talk and later ques­tion and an­swer ses­sion.

The energy cen­tre’s lat­est an­nual two­day con­fer­ence ended yes­ter­day.

 ?? PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON ?? High­light­ing chal­lenges . . . As­so­ciate Prof Janet Stephen­son speaks in Dunedin yes­ter­day.
PHOTO: GRE­GOR RICHARD­SON High­light­ing chal­lenges . . . As­so­ciate Prof Janet Stephen­son speaks in Dunedin yes­ter­day.

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