Christchurch plans for peak oil and climate change

While Michael Cullen and the central government dither on the possibility of peak oil, Environment Canterbury is taking it very seriously and making provisions for it in all future planning:

“Our ever increasing dependence on energy coincides at a time when New Zealand (and Canterbury) is facing significant future uncertainty in the area of availability of some energy sources, particularly liquid fossil fuels. Alongside this dependence is an emerging debate that human activity is contributing to climate change and there is, as a consequence, growing awareness that society needs to act to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions to reduce the effects of climate change.

Less obvious is the response by society to Peak Oil which refers to the situation where oil extraction and production reaches a peak or plateau and then begins to decline. The peaking (or plateau) of world oil reserves presents the world, including this country and region, with significant risk management challenges.

Fuel shortages are expected to occur within the ten year planning period of the 2006 to 2016 Long Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP). These predicted shortages, resulting in sustained rises in world oil prices from the peaking (or plateau) of world oil production, will very likely have a direct impact on Environment Canterbury’s ability to deliver its services and carry out its operations.”

Risk Management? What a novel idea! I couldn’t have said it better.

Click here for your own copy of Peak Oil and Climate Change Effects: Issues Facing Environment Canterbury

7 Comments Posted

  1. Interesting article. We live out in the Heathcote Valley suburb of Christchurch. We think it’s crazy we have a perfectly good railway station but it isn’t used for passengers, just freight.

    We had an article up on our Heathcote Valley Online website about the need to use trains more and get people out of their cars, I’ll have to check if it’s still there.

  2. Yep, have to agree with you 100% haz. If Chistcurch drivers car=pooled the way the spectators will on these 3 days we wouldn’t have any congestion or any global warming. So three cheers to V8 race fans for leading the way in halting global warming.

  3. chch can’t make up its mind – garden city or boganville. 3 days of v8 racing this weeknd- that’l help cut fossil fuel use and what a gr8 way to show your city truly cares about th planet

  4. the State of Connecticut has also recently released a report on the implications of Peak Oil

    They advocate:

    • Create a Peak Oil Task Force on a state level and develop incentive legislation for municipalities to begin this type of planning on a local basis.

    • Initiate a Public Education Campaign: We need plain talk that tells the whole story and connects the dots to lay the groundwork for any broad policy package.

    • Create a State Department of Energy with overall responsibility to oversee the transition.

    • Top priority: develop and coordinate State and local emergency plans to deal with the impacts of sudden fuel reductions. (Fuel allocation, food distribution, transportation, health services, emergency response, etc.)

    • Conduct scenarios planning

    • Lead long-range sustainability planning: 50 years versus 5.

  5. Simon Upton writes about looming energy shortages in yesterdays Press but doesn’t attribute anything to shortages in supply… is due to growing use by China a India.

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