Auckland’s ambitious targets and leadership on tackling climate change have earned C40 Innovator City status from the global C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group.
The C40 Innovator City status acknowledges Auckland’s innovation and initiatives to lower the city’s carbon emissions and protect the environment.
Mayor Phil Goff says, “Climate change is a defining issue of our time. Setting ambitious zero-emission targets is the only way we will limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius and prevent the huge economic and environment costs that will otherwise result. As New Zealand’s largest city, Auckland has a key role to play.
“Changing the way we live and travel is vital."
"A more compact city with greater reliance on electric-powered public transport will play a critical role in reducing carbon emissions from transport, which make up 40 per cent of the city’s global warming gases. This will also reduce the high levels of black carbon pollution in the city centre.
“Promoting walking and cycling will also reduce emissions and contribute to a better and more healthy population."
“The greening of our city with the achievement of our million trees objective next year will help create carbon sinks and the promotion of energy conservation in buildings will also assist.
“Auckland once again being recognised and granted membership as a C40 Innovator City is an endorsement by other leading cities of our leadership role to create a better world and help other global cities accelerate their own efforts to tackle climate change.
"Tackling climate change and making our city environmentally friendly is an investment in the future of Auckland. We are making these commitments for the sake of our children and grandchildren, and the world we leave behind for them," said Mayor Goff.
A climate-ready Auckland needs bold commitment and innovation
Environment and Community Committee Chair Penny Hulse believes radical changes are needed to combat climate change but recognises progress in the right direction and pioneering new approaches.
“A climate-ready Auckland needs bold commitment and innovation. With NZTA, we’re investing $900 million in the next 10 years in safe cycling infrastructure including the SkyPath, and Ports of Auckland is exploring new technology with its hydrogen pilot plant which could provide clean energy to fuel our fleet of buses and harbour ferries.
“We are the first council in New Zealand to issue green bonds and the $200 million raised so far will help fund Auckland’s electric trains and associated infrastructure as well as our commitment to procure only zero-emission buses by 2025.
“As a signatory to the C40: Fossil Free Streets declaration, Auckland has pledged to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions generated by transport and traffic. Innovative, smart city thinking and concepts like Access for Everyone will create pedestrian-friendly streets and improved access to electric transport like light rail on Queen Street and an electric bus fleet has the potential to create cleanest air quality of any city in the world," said Councillor Hulse.
Auckland's Climate Action Plan will help us become more resilient
Auckland Council's Chief Sustainability Officer, John Mauro, leads the development of Auckland’s Climate Action Plan.
“Climate change, and its impacts, is one of Auckland’s biggest threats and one of our greatest opportunities. While challenges like sea-level rise, flooding and the transition away from fossil fuels are daunting, a climate-ready Auckland promises to be a prosperous, healthy and accessible Auckland for everyone.”
“We need to work together on our climate change challenges."
"Our focus so far has brought cross-sector groups and leaders together to share new ideas, to commit to action, and to ensure our decision-makers have good evidence and advice to support them when making challenging decisions to reduce carbon and improve Auckland’s resilience.
“In March 2019, during a three-day Climate Change Symposium, we will explore and test practical solutions for delivering a healthy, prosperous and zero-carbon Auckland. Aucklanders, businesses, government, organisations and mana whenua are all invited to input into the development and implementation of the plan.
“Once complete, Auckland’s Climate Action Plan will help us become more resilient to extreme weather events and sea level rise, further improve sustainable transport options, increase efforts to retrofit buildings and homes, support innovation and new technologies, expand on the greening of our urban areas and shift us to greater energy security.”
What can you do?
Check out climateAKL.nz to join the region-wide discussion, contribute your ideas and to find out more about what climate change means for Auckland.
Climate challenges will be posted on the Ideas Hub over the next few months and you can contribute by posting your ideas and solutions to each challenge.
Small changes to your everyday lives can add up to make a difference: every little bit helps.
Check out our top tips to Live Lightly to live well and take care of our planet.