Students across Nelson rallied against climate change last month. Photo: Jonty Dine.

Council votes for $750k climate change fund


Nelson City Council will put more than $750,000 forward for initiatives to address climate change.

Last Friday’s vote came two weeks after the council voted on declaring a climate change emergency.

It allocated $254,500 of operational funding in its annual plan, and created a reserve of $500,000 for undertaking actions to address climate change.

Should a suitable initiative or idea come through from the public to instigate action on climate change, then that reserve can be drawn on following approval by council.

The allocated funding of $254,500 will be used to establish a climate forum, a climate taskforce, and appoint a new climate champion.

Mayor Rachel Reese said that the reserve was to make the most of ideas raised from the forum and community.

“We are at the start of a journey, and we need our community to be with us as we begin this journey … The reserve fund will enable those ideas to become a reality, and really influence what we do to address climate change.”

The climate forum was recommended by a number of submitters and would involve collaboration across sectors and stakeholders, focussing on emissions reduction, adaptation and resilience.

However, the vote only passed by one with many councillors voicing their concerns at the haste in which the ideas were put forward.

Councillors Bill Dahlberg and Mel Courtney said the proposal ought to have gone out to the public for consultation and that there was no reason why the public could not be brought along on the decision.

Ian Barker agreed.

“I don’t see there was a need for this haste, I don’t see there was a need to do this without consulting the community.”