At Southland District Council, we have a number of activities under way to respond to climate change. We will lead by example by reducing our organisational emissions and will work with communities to adapt to the changing climate and support the resilience of our townships.

Measuring organisational emissions

Council completed its first inventory of greenhouse gas emissions in July 2023. This provides us with a baseline to measure against as we work to reduce our emissions and contribute to our nation’s commitment to achieve net zero by 2050.
Southland District Council’s net greenhouse gas emissions for 2021/2022 were 14.7 kilotonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents. You can download the full report here.

Decarbonising our fleet

Council’s vehicle fleet contributes 1.7% of our organisational emissions. The nature of our road network and current infrastructure make it impractical to convert our whole fleet to electric vehicles. However, we are taking up opportunities to incorporate electric and hybrid vehicles to the extent possible when we upgrade our fleet.
Council staff are also making behavioural changes, such as car-pooling and utilising video conferencing options.

Understanding climate impacts

We have engaged Great South to complete risk assessments to help us understand how changing weather patterns are likely to impact our communities in the future.

Great South has completed the first stage of this work, exploring the potential coastal flooding risks associated with sea level rise and storms. Read more about this work on our coastal hazards page.

Regional Climate Change Working Group

For the last year, Southland District Council has been participating in the Regional Climate Change Working Group.

This inter-agency group is made up of tangata whenua representatives, elected representatives, and key staff from all councils in the region and is working collaboratively to develop a Regional Climate Change Strategy and shape Murihiku Southland’s long-term response to climate change.

Working with our Te Tiriti partner

Southland District Council acknowledges Ngāi Tahu as mana whenua in Southland district. We work in partnership with Te Ao Marama Inc, which represents the interests of the four papatipu rūnaka (iwi organisations) in relation to environmental management, land-use planning, spatial planning, and climate change responses.