Climate Change Committee

Early last year, Rotary Club of Wellington conducted a strategic review, which led to a defining of its purpose as "Leaders of Positive Social Change". President Peter Lawson established a Strategic Issues Group to consider Rotary Club of Wellington as “Leaders of Positive Social Change”. This recognised that RCW has been leading positive social change for 98 years including projects on: Karitane, Eradicating Polio, CCS, Skilled Migrants, Refugee Trauma Recovery, Eureka!, Forest in the Heart of Wellington, and the RCW Forums. The question was “What is our next big project?”. The group put three big ideas to a RCW lunchtime meeting in March 2018. The meeting of members chose Climate Change as its project. The reason expressed by members was because this is one of the biggest issues of our time that will affect all of us, and because it is an issue that all of us can do something about. 

RCW Board then agreed to undertake a climate change programme as part of our commitment to community service. 

The climate change programme has 2 components: 
  1. A project to obtain Carbon Zero certification for the club, 
  2. A project to increase the awareness amongst our members of the personal actions and decisions that each of us can take to reduce our own and our household’s carbon footprint through actions on:  Transport, Energy, Food, and Waste.

Our Carbon Zero project is an ambitious experiment, and a great example of Rotary Club of Wellington taking a bold leadership role.  We’ll be starting with this and then progressing the awareness raising project.  

The greatest impact from the overall climate change programme will come from our capability as influencers: - influencing other Rotary and related organisations to follow our lead and influencing our own wider personal and business networks to follow our/your lead.  Our projects to obtain Carbon Zero certification and our commitment to personal action will give us the moral authority to influence the actions of institutions and governments – which is where the big gains come from.

Current work on Carbon Zero certification for the club involves:
  • We are surveying members about modes of travel to RCW lunch meetings and events, such as Jumbo Tennis, to help calculate our Club's carbon footprint.
  • We will give an interim report to the RCW Board in May 2019. By then we expect to have a calculation of the Club's carbon footprint but will not get the audited report until July 2019. We will then know the cost of carbon credits at approx $25/tonne to offset our Club footprint.
  • The Board could choose to find a funding source for the offsets, in which case we would become an accredited carboNZero organisation, or we might undertake an active programme to reduce emissions on the Club’s carbon footprint.
  • We have a 3-year contract with Enviro-Mark Solutions (EMS) to assist the Club to become a certified carboNZeroCertTM organisation RCW Board has approved in principle $5000 funding across two years to cover annual certification fees for audit plus other associated costs. At any time after year one ending 30 June 2019, RCW can pull out of the contract if it wishes (e.g. if the cost of carbon credits is unacceptably high)
  • We will encourage Club members to actively reduce their personal carbon footprint 
  • Dr James Renwick, VUW will be talking to Club on the science of climate change on 29 July.

Related pages

Carbon Credits from RCW Planting - a paper by Russ Ballard

Russ Ballard sergeant session on the Climate Change Project on 13 April 2019

Russ Ballard sergeant session slides and notes from 13 April 2019

Rob Davison sergeant session on the Climate Change Project on 8 April 2019

Denise Church 5 minute talk on the Climate Change Project on 8 April 2019




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