Draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Climate Change Strategy 2021

Climate change is the biggest challenge of our time. It is already affecting our weather, health and wellbeing, natural environment, taonga species, mahinga kai, food production, biosecurity, infrastructure, and the economy.

Project status: Decision made
Open for feedback: 12 March 2021 to 25 April 2021

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Consultation has now closed

Consultation on the Draft Climate Change Strategy has now closed. People were able to provide feedback from 12 March to 18 April 2021.

During this time we heard from 113 individuals and 41 organisations.. You can read their feedback(external link) as part of the Hearings Panel agenda.

The Panel met on Friday 21 May to hear submitters and made a final decision on 21 June, following deliberations. You can read about the outcome on Newsline(external link). Meeting minutes are available on our website(external link) approximately three working days following the meeting.

Check our website(external link) to find out more about Council’s response to climate change.


Climate change is a global issue with local impacts and we need to work together on the solutions. In Christchurch and Banks Peninsula we are already starting to see the effects of climate change. Our summers are becoming hotter, dryer and longer, and our winters shorter and milder. We are likely to experience more extreme rain, wind, fire and flooding. Some areas will become more prone to drought while our low-lying coastal areas will be more exposed to tidal flooding. 

In 2019 Christchurch  City Council declared a Climate and Ecological Emergency and adopted ambitious greenhouse gas emissions targets for our district. Christchurch has set the target of achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 (excluding methane) and to halve our emissions by 2030, from 2016-17 levels. 

Our draft climate change strategy is a long-term framework for Christchurch's climate change journey. It's part of a wider conversation about how we can all work together to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, prepare for the changes that are ahead of us, and respond to the ongoing effects of climate change. 

It's also an opportunity for us to transition to a greener and more liveable city with healthier homes,   improved air and water quality, new transport options, more trees and green spaces, and a vibrant local economy with innovative businesses and new jobs. 

Read the full draft Ōtautahi Christchurch Climate Change Strategy [PDF, 1.9 MB]

Read more information on Climate change in Christchurch(external link)

We have set four climate goals for Christchurch, supported by 10 climate action programmes that outline what we need to achieve these goals. 

Goal 1: Net Zero Emissions Christchurch  

Goal 2: We understand and are preparing for the ongoing impacts of climate change

Goal 3: We have a just transition to an innovative, low emission economy

Goal 4: We are guardians of our natural environment and taonga. 

We want to hear what you think about our draft Strategy. Have we got it right? Is there anything we've missed? Do you have any feedback on how we should develop and deliver the action programmes within the strategy? 

Drop-in sessions*

If you would like to discuss this project with the team, please join us.

TSB Space, Level 1, Tūranga, 60 Cathedral Square

  • Tuesday 23 March 11.30 am to 1.30pm
  • Wednesday 31 March 4.30pm to 6.30pm

This is a shared session with colleagues from the Long Term Plan 2018-2031,(external link) Representation Review Initial Proposal(external link) and the Draft Development Contributions Policy(external link), so you can find out more and have your say about all four proposals.

* Please note, these sessions may need to be postponed or cancelled if the Covid alert level changes.

Can’t make these meetings?

If there is a community meeting you would like us to attend, please let us know. You can also phone any time to speak with us directly about the project. Tessa Zant, Senior Engagement Advisor, phone; 03 941 8935

Programme 1: Building the foundation

Building the foundation - partnerships  and resourcing 

Our commitment: Meeting Christchurch's climate challenge will require the support of the whole community/ By harnessing the leadership and resources of Ngāi Tahu Papatipu Rūnanga, organisations, businesses and networks across our city and district, we can develop our response to climate change together. 

Next step for the Council: Establish a climate leadership group with key stakeholder representatives to implement the strategy. 

Programme 2: Understanding local effects of climate change

Understanding the local effects of climate change

Our commitment: Climate change affects local communities in different ways. We will gather local data to understand the implications across our district - for our people, our infrastructure our economy and  our environment - and share this information with our communities so we can plan for the future. 

Next step for Council: To complete Christchurch's climate change risk assessment, including environmental, social, cultural and economic impacts. 

Programme 3: Proactive climate planning

Proactive climate planning with communities

Our commitment: Supporting communities to plan for and adapt to future climate change challenges empowers them to use their own knowledge and social networks to take action. Change is an opportunity for innovation, and for our communities to have a say in shaping their future. We will help communities to thrive by identifying our shared values, and the local changes we need to make together. 

Next step for Council: Engage with communities to raise awareness of coastal hazards, and seek feedback on the strategic adaptation framework to ensure that it meets the expectations of Christchurch communities and is fit for purpose. 

Programme 4: Adapting and greening infrastructure

Adapting and greening infrastructure  systems 

Our commitment: Our buildings and infrastructure are increasingly coming under threat due to the impact of climate change. Infrastructure supports our quality of life, and represents one of the biggest investment decisions in Christchurch. We will ensure our infrastructure can cope with the changing climate conditions in the future, while still delivering the services our communities need. 

Next step for the Council: Create a series of ponds, wetlands, intertidal habitat and stormwater treatments in Bexley (Ōtākaro Avon River Corridor Regeneration Area), to filter surface water naturally, support biodiversity, enhance flood management and improve amenity. 

Programme 5: Carbon removal and restoration

Carbon removal and natural restoration

Our commitment: Our biodiversity and ecosystems will be increasingly threatened by climate change. By protecting and expanding natural areas in our district, we will help capture carbon dioxide, while benefiting natural ecosystems and biodiversity. 

Next step for the Council: Identify sites where partnership opportunities could increase indigenous planting across Christchurch and Banks Peninsula. 

Programme 6: Economic transformation and innovation

Economic transformation and innovation

Our commitment: To reach our goal of net zero greenhouse gas emissions, we need innovative climate solutions and an economic transformation to move away from resource intensive, high emission industries. 

Next step for the Council: Work with ChristchurchNZ, the Canterbury Employers' Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders to deliver a series of events and activities to highlight and drive climate innovation in Christchurch. 


Programme 7: Low-emission transport system

Low-emission transport system

Our commitment: Road transport is the biggest single contributor to Christchurch's emission footprint. The transport sector contributes 54 per cent of our district's greenhouse gas emissions, with 36 per cent coming from road transport. Reducing transport emissions is essential to achieve our greenhouse gas emissions targets. Christchurch has high levels of private car use and low level use of public transport. 

Next step for the Council: Complete the Christchurch Transport Plan to understand pathways to reduce emissions and identify a progressive series of options to achieve the level of reductions we are seeking. 

Programme 8: Energy efficient homes and buildings

Energy efficient homes and buildings

Our commitment: Our homes, buildings, businesses and infrastructure consume large amounts of resources such as energy, water and materials to build, operate, maintain, repair and replace. 

We will design our homes, businesses, buildings and infrastructure to be more energy and resource efficient, and powered by affordable, renewable energy. This will lower emissions, reduce costs, deliver healthier buildings, crate businesses that are more efficient and conserve our precious resources. 

Next step for the Council: Promote awareness of resources available to communities and businesses to assist with energy efficiency efforts. 

Programme 9: Towards zero waste

Towards zero waste

Our commitment: Generally, our society busy things, uses them, then throws them away. About 9 per cent of Christchurch's greenhouse gas emissions come from our waste. However, approximately 40 per cent of waste currently going to landfill in Christchurch has the potential to be recycled or composted, using the services currently available. 

Next step for the Council: Implement the Council's Waste Management and Minimisation Plan.  

Programme 10: Sustainable food system

Sustainable food system

Our commitment: the production, distribution, consumption and disposal of food generates significant greenhouse gas emissions. we will support sustainable food production to improve people's health and wellbeing, while restoring the natural environment. 

Next step for the the Council: Support the planting for 500 fruit trees in schools and community loations in Christchurch. 

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Who to contact

Tessa Zant,
Senior Engagement Advisor

How the decision is made

  • Decision made

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