Hawke’s Bay Regional Council has appointed Pippa McKelvie-Sebileau as its inaugural Climate Action Ambassador.
Ms McKelvie-Sebileau (pictured), who is from Hawke’s Bay, has a background in psychology and public health, and is finishing her PHD in food resilience for communities.
She will focus on ensuring the Regional Council is carbon neutral by 2025, and will take a key leadership role in a community wide response in Hawke’s Bay becoming carbon neutral by 2050.
“Most people say our climate is one of reasons the best things about living in Hawke’s Bay, but climate change is already impacting our way of life, being able to swim in the waterways we love, and where we live around the coast,” Ms McKelvie-Sebileau said.
“Successful adaptation to climate change is not only essential for economic resilience of our region, but also for wellbeing of our communities.
“This role is about climate action – the Regional Council already has an excellent science base and team of scientists, so it will be about turning that knowledge into practical solutions for our community.
“To engage our community, we need to bring them along for change, and propose an alternative vision for an equitable and resilient future.”
In order to deepen the understanding of climate issues in Hawke’s Bay, a regional greenhouse gas emissions inventory and regional risk assessment will be established as a starting point, says Ms McKelvie-Sebileau.
She will lead the development of a Regional Climate Action Plan engaging in partnerships with mana whenua, to ensure mātauranga Māori viewpoints are incorporated, and community groups, industry and local councils to ensure an inclusive approach is taken and social justice upheld.
This plan will feed in to the 2024-2034 long term plans of the region’s councils.
Environment Committee chair, Hinewai Ormsby says it’s fantastic to see this work getting underway to prepare the region for climate change – the most urgent and profound environmental issue of our time.
“The Regional Council is working hard to make the region more resilient to climate change across our work programmes from flood protection to coastal hazards to biodiversity protection.”
“However we need to work together as a community to achieve the transformational change required to reduce our environmental footprint and live more sustainably,” she said.