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Stepping up our climate game

Published: 3 March 2017

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Vancouver’s Climate Policy Manager talks climate action with Auckland Conversations

 

We spoke with Malcolm Shield who is the City of Vancouver’s Climate Policy Manager and is currently working with C40. He joined the Auckland Conversations panel on 8 March to discuss how business, government and citizens can boldly commit to overcoming climate challenges.

How does C40 Cities membership benefit individual cities?

C40 Cities is there to provide expertise and leadership. There isn’t time for cities to be learning on their own – we need to collaborate, whether on transport, waste, buildings or green space. The rate of climate change is so rapid we don’t have the luxury of solving this over 100 years, so peer learning to discover solutions is the most effective way forward. We know that our fundamental problems are the same, but then it’s up to individual cities to nuance the solutions.

What can you tell us about Vancouver City’s climate vision?

Vancouver is ahead on climate change, with Mayor Gregor Robertson having made sustainability one of his pillars of leadership. The city’s “Greenest City Action Plan” incorporates carbon, waste, a light footprint, jobs, access to green space, and more. This underpinned how we moved forward as an organisation - we’ve really integrated this into our daily operations.

What’s next? Carbon and energy are still the fundamental challenges to solve. Vancouver has formed the target of 100% renewable for all energy use by 2050, and a greenhouse gas reduction target of 80% by 2050. And energy doesn’t just mean electricity – it means natural gas, hydrocarbon fuels, etc.

How do governments work best with the business community?

Business is without doubt fundamental in tackling climate change. Governments have to get their regulation right - they can’t stymie innovation. It’s the role of government to set the rules and to specify the outcomes and targets for climate change. Then it’s the market that has to lead in terms of solutions.

Watch a video of the event

Watch the video the Auckland Conversations website.

Joining Malcolm Shield for a frank and open discussion about the practical steps to be taken in New Zealand will be: Councillor Penny Hulse from Auckland Council; Penny Nelson, Deputy Secretary Sector Strategy, Ministry for the Environment; and Ian Short, former Chief Executive Institute for Sustainability, London.