Cities represent over half the global population, consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy and account for more than 70 per cent of global CO2 emissions.
Eleven cities, including Auckland, are offering some of the world’s best examples of impactful urban climate action. Located in COP26’s Green Zone, the Global Cities Climate Action Exhibition by Arup and C40 Cities highlights the critical role of cities in reaching the ambitious targets being discussed at COP26.
Auckland features in the exhibition alongside Beijing, Bogotá, Istanbul, Jakarta, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Washington, D.C. Together, these cities represent more than 109 million people.
Learn more about the six projects featured and take a tour now.
Stream restoration in Central Auckland
Oakley Creek, also known as Te Auaunga, demonstrates a best practice approach to climate change adaptation. To address flooding issues, an existing concrete channel was replaced with a wider, naturalised stream channel. This approach to stormwater management has increased resilience to climate change, restored native ecosystems while providing a walkway and outstanding community asset. The project reflects the strong support of mana whenua, Auckland Council, and the community.
$1 billion in green bonds
Auckland Council recently endorsed the C40 Divest/Invest Declaration, reaffirming our position to divest any investments in fossil fuel companies and confirming a commitment to increase financial investments in climate solutions that support a just and green economy. The Auckland Council Group has raised more than $1 billion in green bonds to finance and refinance projects such as electric trains and cycling infrastructure. We were the first organisation in NZ to issue a green bond.
Assets under management committed to divest from fossil fuels worldwide have grown to $39 trillion - more than the economies of the U.S. and China combined. There are now 1485 institutions from 71 countries that have committed to fossil fuel divestment.
Regenerative approaches in practice
The regeneration of the wellbeing of the Puhinui catchment and its people is highlighting the transformational work that’s possible.
Te Whakaoranga o te Puhinui is a flagship strategy that uses a living system and whakapapa centred wellbeing approach that integrates ecological design concepts with mātauranga Māori tikanga, frameworks and values. The project was recently recognised with an ‘Outstanding Award’ in the Unbuilt Parks and Environment category of the International Federation of Landscape Architects. This award gives international recognition to the benefit of working in partnership with indigenous peoples to respond to the challenges of climate change.
Zero emissions public transport
Auckland Transport’s Metro Decarbonation Manager, Darek Koper, says it’s great recognition for Auckland Transport, and the wider council family, to be highlighted on the world stage at COP 26.
“Over the past 18 months we’ve introduced 33 new electric services in the city, Waiheke Island, as well as the new AirportLink service connecting with electric trains at Puhinui Station for a carbon-free trip to Auckland Airport, and we’ll continue to roll out more electric buses ever year.”
The next steps for Auckland Transport’s Low Emission Bus Roadmap includes deploying 100-150 electric buses by 2025, with more depots being upgraded with charging infrastructure and further trials of charging technologies.
Green energy at Auckland ports
Ports of Auckland has committed to build a hydrogen production and refuelling facility at its Waitematā port, producing hydrogen from tap water. The company, and project partners Auckland Council, Auckland Transport and KiwiRail, will invest in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles including port equipment, buses and cars as part of the project.
The process uses electrolysis to split water into hydrogen (which is then stored for later use) and oxygen, which is released into the air. Demonstration vehicles will be able to fill up with hydrogen at the facility, which will be just like filling up a car with CNG or LPG. Hydrogen is used in the fuel cell to create electricity which powers the car. The only by-product of the process is water.
Kerbside food scraps service
If food waste were a country, it would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gases. Papakura households are now composting their food waste with a kerbside food scraps collection service. The average kiwi family throws out three shopping trollies worth of food a year. It adds up to more than $1.1 billion in wasted food that we buy and then throw away uneaten.
Papakura families have already composted 4015 tonnes of food scraps. This is like 472 rubbish trucks full of food scraps kept out of landfill. The service is expanding across urban Auckland in 2023.
About C40 Cities
C40 is a network of nearly 100 mayors of the world’s leading cities who are working to deliver the urgent action needed right now to confront the climate crisis and create a future where everyone, everywhere can thrive. Mayors of C40 cities are committed to using a science-based and people-focused approach to help the world limit global heating to 1.5°C and build healthy, equitable and resilient communities.
Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities says, “Showcasing what is possible at this year’s COP is vitally important to demonstrate that we can deliver science-based climate action. This inspiring exhibition will feature transformative climate solutions being pioneered in C40 cities, as well as the tangible resulting benefits upon residents' lives and the urban environment. Governments worldwide need to come together in Glasgow at COP26 to prioritise the climate crisis with the same sense of urgency as mayors.”