Yesterday the Auckland Council unanimously agreed to declare a climate emergency, joining other cities in New Zealand and around the world in doing so.

“By unanimously voting to declare a climate emergency we are signalling the council’s intention to put climate change at the front and centre of our decision making,” says Mayor Phil Goff

Today, members of Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee voted to join a growing community of cities around the world who have formally and publicly recognised the urgency for action on climate change by declaring a climate emergency.

“Our declaration further elevates the importance of an immediate national and global response to address our changing climate,” said Councillor Penny Hulse, chair of the committee.

“We want to be a part of the global community calling for change. We have listened and are listening to people; to Aucklanders who supported targeted rates to improve the health of our environment and water, to the students who went on strike and demanded action on climate, to groups like Extinction Rebellion who came to the council and pleaded with us to take more action including declaring this climate emergency. To these groups and to the many others who have made their voices heard, I say thank you,” says Councillor Hulse.

Mayor Goff says, “Our obligation is to avoid our children and grandchildren inheriting a world devastated by global heating. Scientists tell us that if we don’t take action, the effects of heating will be catastrophic, both environmentally and economically.

“In declaring an emergency, we are signalling the urgency of action needed to mitigate and adapt to the impact of rising world temperatures and extreme weather events. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says we have only around 12 years to reduce global carbon emissions to limit temperature rises to 1.5 degrees.

“While international and national actions are critical, at a local and personal level we need to play our role in achieving that target.”

It’s good to see the council take this step but unless they and their CCOs take more action, it does feel like it risks being a bit of a feelgood political statement than anything serious. Here’s what they say it means for Auckland:

By declaring a climate emergency, the council is committing to:

  • continue to robustly and visibly incorporate climate change considerations into work programmes and decisions
  • continue to provide strong local government leadership in the face of climate change, including working with local and central government partners to ensure a collaborative response
  • continue to advocate strongly for greater central government leadership and action on climate change
  • continue to increase the visibility of our climate change work
  • continue to lead by example in monitoring and reducing the council’s greenhouse gas emissions
  • include climate change impact statements on all council committee reports.

Part of my issue with it is dictionaries define ’emergency’ as: “A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action“. I’m sure someone can debate the ‘unexpected’ aspect but the part that seems to be missing from the council’s announcements is the immediate action, particularly in relation to the single biggest contributor to emissions in Auckland – transport.

So, if the council were serious about this climate emergency declaration, here four things that need to change immediately to help address this emergency

Give people more options to avoid car travel

The best way to reduce emissions from cars is to give people realistic alternatives for getting around. Some of this obviously takes time to build and there are funding constraints but an emergency should dictate a radical reprioritisation of what’s planned with investment going only to support modes of transport and projects that help reduce emissions. All of this means we need more and better public transport and many more cycleways.

Tied to this a stated goal needs to be a significant reduction in vehicle kilometres travelled all across the region (not just the city centre). While there are some good things happening they’re taking too long or simply aren’t enough. Take Auckland Transports Statement of Intent for 2019-22 for example. It shows they only targeting to deliver 28.5km of new cycleways over 3 years.

To put that in perspective, we have nearly 5,000 km of urban roads in Auckland (and another 3,000 rural roads). Real and meaningful immediate action would be for the council to require AT to significantly increase this using temporary solutions until such time more money is available for permanent ones. Of course one of the big things that prevents AT from being able to do this, and has slowed down the existing cycling programme at the same time as making it more expensive is the demand from locals to retain ……

Parking

The Councillors may have unanimously voted to declare a climate emergency but you can be certain that many of them will quickly jump in behind locals to complain about removing any on-street carparks from their local areas.

Of course the desire to retain parking not only makes it harder to convert space to encourage emissions free transport options but it also has the effect of encouraging people to drive to the location in the first place.

A poignant reminder of issue with parking emerged yesterday with the announcement that Costco would open it’s first NZ store in Auckland and would have 800 carparks. That store will be located in Westgate, which is part of major growth area for Auckland over the coming decades, bringing us to ……

Supporting Growth

Auckland’s development pattern of spread out suburbs is a key contributor to our auto-dependency and that is only going to get worse if current plans to build around 110,000 of new homes on Auckland’s fringes comes to fruition.

Enabling all this to happen that is a programme called Supporting Growth and as we learnt yesterday, it seems they’re about to announce their finalised plans for the three main development areas – North, Northwest and South. If we were serious about a climate emergency we would be putting a halt on any implementation of these networks and refocusing that growth back to the existing urban area. We could then spend the money that would have otherwise gone to these areas to significantly improve walking, cycling and PT options which also happen to benefit existing residents.

Perhaps some of the money could also go towards …..

Street Trees

At the last election Mayor Phil Goff campaigned on a policy of planting 1 million trees over this term – I understand the target is very close to being achieved. But while 1 million trees is good, what would also be good is if we saw more trees planted in our streets – and lots of them. There is no reason why every suburb shouldn’t be called a leafy suburb.

Pohutukawa, St Paul St
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147 comments

  1. I was at the Kapiti Coast District Council meeting that declared a climate crisis. Lots of passionate speeches. The next item on the agenda was a proposal to bring in traffic calming around a local primary school where about 60% of the kids currently bike or walk but it has no crossings and the objective data show a high proportion of cars go past way above the speed limit. The school wants most children to safely walk or bike. Two years ago a person was killed outside the school by a speeding car. In contrast the council was very lukewarm about that proposal talking about all the rules and regulations preventing them doing anything. They didn’t even see the irony of their inaction.

    1. If any of these councils were actually serious about addressing the climate emergency they would follow scientists advice and implement plans to halve CO2 by 2030 and reduce it to near zero by 2050.
      This means the use of fossil fuels must stop and the public need to be told how this will be achieved now so that they can plan for the change. It will need to be taxed to a far greater extent than tobacco or alcohol and the taxes need to start ramping up today.

  2. So much has to change, in policies, legislation, regulations, practices. Declaring an emergency will only support the many people already working to bring change. People may have already stopped rolling their eyes about climate change, but now – if two paths are proposed – opponents to action will have to work harder to defend the status quo. So I think this is good.

    If Auckland Transport feels there is a gap in policy, and they have to make their own interpretation, this declaration plugs that gap.

    Now we need Council and the CCO’s to take immediate action, and with an election this year, hypocrisy won’t look good.

    1. At least we know now that Auckland cars only produce 4.13% of NZ’s GGH emissions. So we know even if we took 250,000 of them off the street we would only save 1%.

      1. Why is this relevant, Graeme?
        – Auckland car emissions / Auckland’s total emissions is relevant.
        – NZ car emissions / NZ’s total emissions is relevant.

        If we cancelled all our public transport right now, what would happen to the amount people drive? And what kind of miserable existence would we all have?

        Surely you don’t want to go back to a city with less public transport? Yet you’re arguing about shifting mode to create a city with more public transport. Are you stuck in the status quo?

      2. Keep dividing Graeme, soon you’ll find that nothing causes anything because in isolation each bit is tiny. Road Transport is 90% of 38% (in 2014) of akl’s emissions. Private vehicles are around 80% of traffic and cause almost all traffic congestion, making bigger stinkier road vehicle emissions worse.

        Dice it how you like, it’s got to change.

          1. No John – not the coal one or the gas one. As you may know they are only 35% efficient. What I do want to keep is the tiny tin building to the North of the Huntly station. It houses a combined cycle gas turbine power plant which is 63% efficient. The rest of Huntly plants would have been replaced with these (nearly halving the CO2 emissions of the generators) but objection by environmentalists has stopped this. Plus the ban on looking for more gas by the new Labour led Govt has meant that gas will definitely run out and need to be imported.
            BTW next time you are passing Huntly have a look at that building – looks like an oversized Skyline garage – and be amazed that it produces more power than EVERY wind turbine in NZ.
            But we are not interested in lowering CO2 in NZ – just looking like we are.

          2. johnwoodtakapuna.nz , yes keep it and add 1/2 more to power all those new EV that people want us to buy/use .

        1. Graeme, The beauty of any decision not to mine any resource, such as natural gas, is that the resource is not lost. It is not a matter of use it or lose it, such as not harvesting a crop. The resource will still be there, exactly as it is now, but available to give a future generation an option they would not have, if we had used it instead.

          1. My point was there was an medium term benefit to using CC power plants over coal or gas to address current excessive CO2 emissions. But that option has been removed by the O&G policy change which is more about sounding good than reducing emissions.

          2. Huntly five installed capacity is 403 megawatt all of New Zealand wind power is 653 megawatt. But of course that is not the whole story. I would imagine as Huntly 5 is our most efficient gas power station it would be run pretty hard so lets say its capacity factor is 70 percent. Wind power would however struggle to get to 40 percent capacity factor. So Graeme is probably right although there wouldn’t be much in it. However remember that when hydro levels were low earlier in the year the gas industry couldn’t supply because of the valve problem at the Pohukakara gas field and coal needed to be brought in from Indonesia.
            Keep looking at Geothermal because it quietly out produced all fossil fueled electricity power generation and probably wind as well without all the supply vagaries, environmental degradation and political gnashing of teeth that accompanies fossil fuels.
            https://www.transpower.co.nz/power-system-live-data
            Also wake up in the middle of the night and look at North Island hydro production it will probably be around 300 megawatts compare this too peak production when it can go as high as 1400 megawatts. This shows there is a huge capacity to expand wind and solar and use them to store water for use at times when the wind doesn’t blow and the sun doesn’t shine. So go the wind farms.

        2. Light vehicles incl commercial utes and vans produce around 21% of Aucklands GGH emissions. That is because Auckland has a very low contribution from agriculture. Cars only would maybe 15%?
          But its still only 4% of NZ’s emissions. What are the percentages you would use? And what % reduction do you see possible from the change to PT that you see.

          1. @Graeme – re Huntly 5 – are you certain that it produces more electricity than all wind (noting that NZ doesn’t have much wind power)? The figures I found suggest that all fossil baseload (basically Huntly coal + Huntly 5) generate 2000GWh which is the same as wind power. That’s about 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 right there. It has been displaced by open cycle gas in recent years. I can’t see that objection by environmentalists has been a big factor here as several new gas plants have been consented (eg 360GW at Otorohanga) and even built. Have any applications been declined? Most likely, the new wind farms coming later this year will eat into Huntly 5 even more. Bring it on!

          2. @Robert McLachlan
            Re Huntly 5 – it produces 403MW. Current windfarms have 690MW of installed power and operate at 45-50% efficiency so produce 310-345MW.
            Huntly coal power is terrible for CO2 emissions for sure. Genesis (maj Govt owned still I think) didnt want the political battle of building a new FF plant with the CC plant so extended the life of the coal and gas plant! I think there used to be a CC plant at Otahuhu – but they dont have a huge long life as they are basically a jet engine like a plane I gather.

            And wow thats a big power plant for Otorohanga – 360GW. More than all the power plants in China – who would have thought….:-)

          3. @Graeme

            Mercury still has consents for the power station at Southdown. Part of the EWL battle was about these consents. I recall being told gas turbines would need a kick start at the airport.

            It’s not just LF for renewables, but load timing. If there is no wind or it is dark and you need power. In NZ you use hydro or FF power. But if the dams are low, you then use FF power.

  3. Whilst we wait for Light Rail, (Phil, you out there ??), a really good simple step in the right direction is Electric buses, trolley buses to be precise, not batteries that in the negative sense of rare minerals, its extraction, manufacture and after a short life, disposal – environmental sense that merely kick the can down the road for the next generation to have to deal with.

    The council CAN dictate this, now, own the overhead infrastructure, that lasts for decades even own some of the fleet aka EMU’s to get it off the ground.

    But will they?

    It beats the wall of diesel 8-10 litre engined bus fleet. It beats the feel good lithium ion battery scenario that’s great for marketing but impractical long term and horrendous environmentally and barely better than the internal combustion engine when all parts if the vehicles cycle are taken into account.

    Or is all for appearances?

    1. Waspman – Lithium Ion batteries and vehicles are definitely better than combustion drive ones buddy, that ship sailed long ago. And that’s before we even get to the quick-charging/dry electrode improvements coming in the next tranche of batteries that should be hitting consumer devices at the beginning of next year.

        1. Last time I checked, the engines in ICE cars weren’t made of crepe paper and PVA glue either. If you’re going to compare the damage of extractive industries, then you’ve got to look at the whole vehicle package across its entire lifetime. On emissions alone, EVs get in front at about 60,000km and never look back – and that’s with current tech and densities, which will improve.

          As for the damage of lithium and cobalt mining – Tesla has supposedly got a cobalt-free battery in the works. And Lithium’s vulnerability to trade disputes will also no doubt force a better alternative. Never under-estimate the powers of capitalism 😉

          1. What becomes of these batteries once they are spent? Very expensive to recycle and again only part of one can be reused. Some may end up as temporary storage but mostly just dumped. Then as landfill leaking out poison forevermore. If our recent ancestors dumped their discarded lithium batteries in that West Coast dump that was uncovered recently in a storm, good luck and best wishes to the environment after that.

            We are brilliant at manufacturing waste and after that burying our heads in the sand. Hence electric vehicle propulsion in its current guise is a gimmick.

            And don’t rely on Tesla, full of good ideas that struggle to reach fruition if ever. Wasn’t their E truck the next big thing?

            Hence my suggestion of a far longer term solution for PT.

          2. You do realise that the fact Li-ion batteries even exist is a testament to the fact that things change very quickly in the world of energy storage. As a consumer technology, it is only about 30 years old. It’s foolish to think that all sorts of other areas will develop but we’re going to be stuck with the same battery tech forever. The improvement in energy density from a 2011 Nissan Leaf to ‘modern’ battery cells available at the consumer level is an improvement of about 50%. In. Five. Years.

          3. The battery technology for the Leaf remains essentially the same, rather the way the cells are “welded” together allows more cells in the same space. It gives more range but takes longer to charge not surprisingly given its the same old same old. The issue around, material, manufacture, longevity and disposal remain constant. I know the auto industry well and reinventing the wheel is not an option, tiny incremental change of the same design is far more profitable.

            Hence again, longer-term, overhead for PT is environmentally far better and much longer lasting.

          4. Waspman, you sound like you are judging air travel today based on looking at performance of the Kitty Hawk. You are making some pretty massive assumptions about the future of battery technology.

            Battery technology is not driven by the automotive industry. They are just benefactors of all the R&D being spent by the whole electronics industry who are moving at break neck pace to design better batteries.

            Sure, current batteries may be a hazard, but that can be contained and better batteries are coming. What about all the pollutants from combustion just floating around anywhere. The debate has been over for some time now.

          5. BEV’s on a well to wheel basis just do not make sense. In any case, do you really want to have an electric fire engine??
            The emission reductions will only be possible from multi solutions. These will include BEV, petrol Hybrids, advanced fossil fuels and petrol and diesel made from renewables (from sustainable sources).

          6. @Daniel Burgess – the electric fire engine already exists, https://newatlas.com/rosenbauer-linz-kreisel-electric-fire-truck/54088/, and yes I do want one. Very glad to have electric rubbish trucks already in Palmerston North. BEVs have been comprehensively shown to be far, far superior environmentally to ICE vehicles. However, they don’t solve all the other problems associated with the manufacture and use of cars. I would totally agree that hybrids are part of the solution for lowering transport emissions, but it is hard to make the maths add up for biofuels given the competing uses for the land. I had to google “advanced fossil fuels”, it seems to be a phrase favoured by Trump, but in connection with electricity generation, not land transport. What are advanced fossil fuels for land transport?

          7. @Daniel Burgess.

            I’d be worried if a fire truck needed a 100km range!!! Electric Firetruck would be great, less maintenance, more reliable and can plug in at the side of the road when in use..

            Agree with the sentiment though, there will be exceptions which is manageable.

        2. @Robert – that’s not a real fire engine More a van with a hose.
          Advanced fossil fuels are things like Gas to Liquids, which are much cleaner burning. It may sound like something Trump might say, but Scandinavia gives tax credits for these fuels.
          As for Fuels made from bio, these can be made from waste and residues – animal fats, used cooking oils, Wood pulp, etc

          1. @Daniel – you’re right about the fire engine. At least its a start. Can you send a link for these fuels? How much do they lower emissions? Re: bio, my understanding is that there is not enough waste around to make much of a dent in fossil fuels, and that it has to compete on price terms with simply burning the waste for energy. The NZ biodiesel is currently 4% bio with limited supply, I am not sure how much it can scale up.

          2. @Robert a just google Shell GTL and that will tell you about advanced fossil fuels. You can google Neste Renewable diesel and that will tell you about their products. Both are much cleaner than normal road fuels and the Neste stuff is much cleaner than BEV, when you take into account how the electricity is generated in most countries.
            I have been reading about these new technologies as it’s more likely that a science solution will be more effective than transformation of how humans move about

          3. Thanks Daniel, it sounds broadly similar to the methanex plant. According to Shell it reduces CO, NO, PM, S pollution but not CO2. Certainly better than diesel as a drop-in fuel. There is also research on sunlight-to-liquid fuels, once you can split CO2 to CO and H2O to H2 using sunlight, you can make any kind of fuel. Yield + cost is the problem.

          4. “it’s more likely that a science solution will be more effective than transformation of how humans move about”

            And therein lies the nub.

            Relying on technological solutions is a faith-based approach. As the planet’s ecological health is increasingly put into danger, this approach becomes the most dangerous religion of all.

            It’s human behaviour that has created the problem, and while technological solutions may ease specific issues temporarily, it is changing human behaviour that is the only long-term solution. Because at any particular time, a ‘solution’ in one field is concurrent with thousands of increasing problems in others.

          5. Shell GTL; what a colossal boondoggle and greenhouse gas disaster. Take a fossil fuel (methane), each molecule of which burns to produce 4 water molecules and one carbon dioxide molecule, convert that methane into longer chain hydrocarbons (losing energy and adding cost in the conversion process) and burn it to produce more carbon dioxide than burning the original natural gas. And this is good because Shell says it is? And you, Daniel, claim that it will reduce greenhouse gases? Seems very naive. Shell wants to continue with their old business model and con the gullible that it’s “clean”.

          6. @mfd I said both the GTL and the Renewable fuels are much cleaner than conventional fossil fuels and the renewables are much cleaner on a well to wheel basis than BEV.
            There has to be a multi solution approach to reducing emissions and climate change. Forcing people out of cars and on to bikes is not a credible option. You just have to look at what happened in the recent elections in Australia to realise how far out of step that approach is to the man in the street.

    2. Wasp man – you want trolley buses? We have a whole bunch of them down here in Wellington, just sitting in a shed gathering dust. Our council is too stupid to use them – if Auckland can use them, then come down and grab them! PS – we swapped them out so Wellington could enjoy more second-hand ex-Auckland diesel powered buses. What a great deal that was.

      1. Your council are aa absolute stunner are they not?

        Does that Chris Laidlaw guy have the audacity to seek re-election?

  4. Frankly – it feels like empty posturing to me. Auckland Council can’t get AT to even follow their current plans, when they’re not particularly disruptive to the car flow. Getting AT to do something that de-proritises cars and prioritises people (movement and places) – I think the ocean will have to flood their new building in the Viaduct first for AT to actually start thinking about doing something.

    1. AT will most likely move back to their old building at Henderson railway station o’ that’s right the staff didn’t know how to read a timetable or learn’t how to catch a train , so they found a building to park all their cars in .

  5. How is a climate emergency synonymous with lowering speed limits, more and more intersections and inflated journey times? If we need to lower speed limits so much that the emissions of a journey are going to increase in areas like downtown where they directly affect air quality in a measurable way, then the only logical answer is to go car-free in those areas immediately.

    1. But that’s not the effect, Buttwizard. Don’t tell me you’ve not read the myth-busting on this one. Safer speeds bring both smoother car travel, and modeshift.

      1. Smoother travel doesn’t always mean motors are running efficiently; that comes down to a combination of gearing, engine management, all sorts of things. I’m just saying this is an added reason to roll out car-free areas of the city that really should be car-free already, rather than impossibly low speeds in some areas (like 10kmh, for instance). If the speeds need to be that low, then they should be car free.

        1. That’s blatant concern trolling. 10km/h is only proposed for the current shared spaces. None of these can become car free any time soon die to the existing property accesses. 10km/h is an obvious interim step.

          1. It’s not really concern trolling at all, thanks. It’s actually pretty hard to keep a motor vehicle at 10kmh – try it some time. You don’t have to totally remove all vehicle access, but removing thoroughfare traffic is a good start.

          2. Maybe “existing property access” is just something that can be lost in a safety crisis and climate emergency? 🙂

          3. Buttwizard what are you on about? It is extremely easy to keep a motor vehicle moving along at 10Km/h. Keep it in second gear and give it minimal throttle. If you keep it in 1st gear and let it idle with you foot off the gas it will quite happily crawl along at walking speed. Fuel use will be about the same as idling.

            What wastes fuel and increases emissions is:
            1) Driving at high-speed where air-resistance-losses and tyre-rolling-resistance-losses become disproportionately large.
            2) Frequent changes in speed, which requires repeated braking and acceleration. And the harder the braking and the accelerating, the more fuel will be used for the same overall duty (the “lead foot” syndrome).

            The argument that a car is only efficient at a certain (high) speed and that it uses more fuel at any other speed is complete hogwash. The gears enable a car’s engine to perform efficiently over a range of vehicle speeds.

          4. “t’s not really concern trolling at all, thanks.” Yes, you are. Let me demonstrate.

            “It’s actually pretty hard to keep a motor vehicle at 10kmh – try it some time.” I have tried this, lot’s. Everytime I drive through a car park.

            “You don’t have to totally remove all vehicle access, but removing thoroughfare traffic is a good start.” We have done this, in every single area proposed for 10km/h limits.

            Concern trolling is airing concerns that are superficially valid when you know they wouldn’t stand up to any critical thought. The classic concern trolling is the ‘nowarming since 1998’ myth. It is intended to waste the time of people taking productive action. Please stop.

      2. Speed tables and traffic calming measures, of the sort you are often advocating for, most definitely increase vehicle emissions Heide.

    1. But it isn’t intended as an action against climate change. It is intended to give the appearance of action. If someone wanted to bring a coal fired mega cruise ship into Auckland our Council and their BS organisations would be tripping over themselves to make the wharf longer to accommodate it.

      1. Penny Hulse, “We want to be a part of the global community calling for change”

        I want to be part of a global community effecting change!

      2. Straight from the executive summary on the agenda, miffy: “A declaration would likely increase the visibility of Auckland’s political commitment to leadership on climate action. Not declaring a climate emergency may result in a perception of or reputational risk in not acknowledging the urgency of acting on climate change.”

        BUT the Council has been saying some good stuff about climate change for a while.

        If they actually are hamstrung by legislation or in some way that central government can help, this is an important recognition of the change that citizens are demanding. Council has made it more visible to government.

        If they are just hamstrung by obstructive councillors, those councillors have now voted unanimously for this; it will be easier to show them up as hypocrites, and to argue against them.

        1. I am sure they will make a nice plaque affirming their declaration. They can put it on the shelf beside the one that says they are nuclear free.

          1. Miffy, this might be a little bit selfish, but I would like the plaque to be put on the car park building under construction in Takapuna.

            Yes I know that decision originates from last year before the Council had heard about climate change.

  6. I think Todd Niall’s tweet yesterday is on point: “Time to build Costco with Petrol at Westgate: 2 years. Time to build long-promised permanent Bus interchange: 19 so far”

    Costco’s 800 carparks will induce traffic.

    Council’s job now is to turn this around. Make it easy to get the infrastructure in that will reduce our car dependency and make it hard to build things that will compromise our collective future.

    1. Now now Heidi, Costco is just a short drive along a congested motorway at sea level away, in an area bereft of public transport or any rapid transit at all, with thousands of new houses being added a year.

      Frankly I fail to see how climate change ties into that at all 😉

    2. Completely agree Heidi. Council allowing so much carpraking with new commercial buildings commercial buildings defeats any parking initiatives that might be pursued by AT.

      A prime example is … The increase of the daily cap at Downtown was a move in the right direction. But then at the same time 2500 carparks come on-line as part of the Sky City developments, it completely undermines it…

      Now run by Wilsons’. AT will largely be powerless to restrain parking in the CBD until something is done to properly value the opportunity cost of using prime land to park our 2 tonne metal horses for the day at rock bottom prices.

      This video explains it perfectly…

      https://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2018/oct/30/why-we-should-be-paying-more-for-parking-video-explainer

    3. It was sickening to see the TV coverage of Mayor Goff at the Costco announcement. He stood alongside the American Costco executive explained how impressed he was with our “freeways” and how their customers would be driving from Hamilton.

      1. Driving from Hamilton? All the way across Auckland to get to Westgate? So, basically an hour from Hamilton to Mill Road (Bombay crossroads), then at least over another hour driving through Auckland traffic from there out to Westgate? Seriously?

  7. How can you declare an emergency then of the 6 ‘policies’ you are committing to, 5 of them start with the word Continue?

    1. Chuckle. And the sixth is: “include climate change impact statements on all council committee reports.”

      Maybe it will all be really effective. 🙂

      Maybe they need to report on how effective it has been every few months?

  8. Supporting Growth: I reckon we need a quick analysis of what can be halted right now. Should we demand Council delay releasing their finalised plans for the three main development areas?

    Matt, you’re right we need to refocus that growth back to the existing urban area. And some of the councillors who have just voted for the climate emergency are the same ones preventing housing being added in logical, connected places where people want to live.

    1. Ha Heidi, was just about to say this. If you’re worried about climate change, the best thing you can do is stop building houses in greenfields areas. Supporting growth and its massive consultant contract should change its role to looking at how additional population growth can be accommodated in brownfields areas. Focus all that planned money for new road infrastructure onto existing corridors, additional PT services etc. When the distances of infrastructure are shorter, you can do a lot more with limited funds…

  9. Auckland Council being $9 Billion in debt is worth declaring an emergency over.

    Wonder how they’re going to address that?

    1. The climate emergency is purely cynical politics so that they can say we doing our bit. It doesn’t actually mean anything and doesn’t require the council to do anything. But it is a good weapon to beat opponents with and to distract from things such as the fiscal issues.

    2. Yes, let’s go back to the good old days when the Council spend nothing on anything and we just let the city slowly decay.

      I mean way more expensive to deal with the issues down the road (like now), but hopefully we are all dead by then right? At least the rates were kept low!

  10. Mike Lee is on that committee so presumably he has voted for this. When he asked Auckland Transport about the safer speeds initiative:

    “Please provide details of all other issues that were part of the motivation for this initiative, including non-safety related issues, such as an attempt to force motorists out of cars and onto public transport.”

    Do you think he was keen to hear that Auckland Transport see safer speeds as a good modeshift accelerator? Do you think he was thinking in terms of all the people wanting options other than sitting in congestion? Do you think he had the climate emergency on his mind?

  11. Putting things very simply we need to stop burning fossil fuels so although all this anti car and anti sprawl stuff is all very exemplary it doesn’t get to the guts of the problem. So in my opinion we need to electrify just about everything in the next ten years. The other option is the use of bio fuels. So firstly the government needs to move the power generation to 100 percent renewable asap. This can be easily done by building the already consented geothermal power stations more wind power will also help.
    The council can do its bit by buying electric buses and expanding the overhead line on our railway to places like Kumeu and Hamilton and the Glenbrook line. It will be up to the people to either shift to public transport or buy electric cars. If they continue with internal combustion cars then they will be to blame.
    But look at the breakdown of the emissions 30 percent comes from stationary energy which I suppose must be LPG and natural gas used for cooking and heating. So the council needs to stop issuing permits for installation of gas fired utilities in houses and commercial buildings and give owners time to convert existing appliances away from fossil fuels.
    I am a little surprised about the 19 percent from industrial processes and product use whether this includes stuff like diggers and lawnmowers I am not sure but obviously they can be electrified. Obviously gas fired boilers for producing process steam will have to go. Again these can be converted to electric or wood fired. The council as the overseeing authority has a lot of power in these areas.
    And trees well we could plant out One Tree Hill but then we would probably have some pyromaniac to burn them down. So lets keep the cattle and sheep.
    To finish off the national government spent $1500 million on rolling out fibre for the internet as far as I know this money will never be directly recovered. So why can’t the government spend a similar amount to convert our fossil fueled vehicles and appliances to renewable electric or bio fuels.

    1. I agree with most of what you say, Royce, the council is superbly positioned to effect change to go to zero emission vehicles in PT at least beginning in the next 2 years.

      Tree planting is good but didn’t that law change to the protection of trees allow some massive amount of trees from private residential land to be removed in the last few years?

      Biofuels, however, is not the answer I think, they take up vast area’s for growing the fuel, then its conversion to something combustible, in Aussie at least is a complete farce, they burn coal to convert the plant material into fuel. It’s appalling!

      1. Biofuels to raise heat for schools and process steam is viable. I wouldn’t recommend it for electric power generation though. I wouldn’t have a clue how Aussie replaces its coal fired power stations though thanks to our hydro and geothermal we don’t really have that problem. Both countries have a problem with electricity generators writing up the the value of their companies then using it as an excuse to raise electricity prices. In my view we should nationalise them. Bring back the NZED.

        1. Royce it’s simple: not having to make that drive is infinitely better than driving in an EV.

          A spatial fix is infinitely better than a movement fix.

          Proximity beats mobility.

          No this doesn’t mean never moving again, it means that while electrifying everything is indeed the answer; it’s just that will happen way sooner and cheaper and better if the ‘everything’ is smaller.

          not driving > driving greener, and can be done with or without imported new tech.

          And spatial fixes are a permanent one time change. The reverse is also true; every house at the end of the motorway, miles from services, work etc, auto dependent, is a permanent (or long lived) emission generating dependent path.

          1. And how to improve the energy usage and battery disposal problems of EVs: use smaller vehicles.

            Plenty of choice by now:
            – e-bike
            – scooter (the kickscooter shaped ones)
            – scooter (the Vespa shaped ones)
            – Segway

          2. I think the people who keep pushing the idea that every vehicle trip can be swapped for a e-bike or e-scooter will do more harm than good with this debate.

            Also, I’ve got some bad news about the type of batteries that power all those things you mentioned too.

          3. Why is that? A battery for an electric Vespa is always going to be smaller, lighter and cheaper than that in a Tesla, simply because you only need a much smaller capacity. Regardless of what battery types are available.

            Think about it. Why do you need to bring an entire 1.5 tonne car with you to the supermarket? Or to work? You can’t replace all trips, but you definitely can replace most of them.

          4. Butt. You are seriously claiming that a bike + batteries is worse for the planet than burning fossil oil for each and every trip + plus manufacture of the car… ! Bonkers.

          5. Its okay to live at the end of the motorway if your job is at the end of the motorway. But yes auto dependence is not good for the planet or for auto dependent people.

      2. It very much depends on what type of ‘bio fuels’ you are talking about. Ethanol is already in our gasoline and supports corn farmers all across the US. It’s probably better for the planet than beef farming.
        Bio diesel (made from palm oil, coconut oil), has caused deforestation in Asia, but provided employment. While this is not ideal, starving orangutans is always going to be the chosen alternative to starving people. These days most of the palm plantations are sustainable.
        Then you have advanced bio fuels that are made from waste and residues. Used cooking oil, animal fats, lipids, waste plastics and household refuse. Why would you be against that type of bio fuel?
        We are also not far from commercial conversion of CO2 into fuel. Carbon capture and chemical conversion. All these approaches are how we can tackle climate change – telling people not to drive and fly is never going to work.

        1. Thanks – I’ll watch that when I’m less tired. You may be interested in this report about the loss of canopy in the Waitemata Local Board area: http://www.knowledgeauckland.org.nz/assets/publications/TR2018-021-Tree-loss-Waitemata-Local-Board-2006-2016.pdf

          “A total of 61.23ha of tree canopy was lost from Waitematā Local Board over 10 years. The loss was made up of 12,879 different detected tree removal ‘events’… Tree losses were spread throughout Waitematā Local Board with particular concentrations on privately owned land in the suburbs of Arch Hill, Freemans Bay, Grey Lynn, Parnell, Ponsonby, Western Springs and Westmere… More than 75 per cent of all cleared trees had no statutory protection and unprotected trees experienced higher rates of tree canopy clearance; about 60 per cent higher than what would be expected on a proportional basis. More than half of tree canopy clearance had occurred for no obvious reason. That is, no new structures such as new houses or other buildings, pools, house extensions, decks or driveways had replaced the space that was beneath the cleared forest canopy. Developments, improvements and extensions to existing buildings were the second most important reason for tree canopy clearance (33 per cent).”

          I find that fascinating because of the 33% that involved some development, in those suburbs, I’d imagine in those suburbs most would’ve been for improvements and extensions, since there are so many character overlays and NIMBY regulations preventing housing.

    2. Royce, low traffic neighbourhoods schemes have had these results in just one year:
      – reduced vkt by 15%
      – increased people walking by 42%

      And when the next neighbourhood scheme was implemented, further modeshift happened in the first one.

      As a result, people were fitter, healthier, happier, more socially connected, less depressed, safer… and business was better.

      This sort of approach is simply positive all around. Electric vehicles – when they come – will be a bonus, but they don’t have all these other benefits.

      1. Yes people should walk and cycle its all good stuff I even noted that if people don’t give up their internal combustion engine cars they will be to blame for climate change. I walk and take public transport every day. On the rare occasion when I take my car I am very wary were I park it. In fact I would never try and park it outside a shop on a street. I only use car parks with plenty of room. I also tend to travel off peak because less traffic less chance of an incident. All retired people have a duty to limit there travel by car and they have the super gold card so its not costing them. Also working parents with families to support should have priority on roads and especially at park and rides etc. They have got a million things to do especially if both parents work. Improved cycling and walking infer structure and free public transport for families at weekend will go a long way towards reducing vehicle kilometres. Electric cars for everyone is a long way away of the 70 million new cars built in the world last year only 2 million were electric so it will be years before they start filtering down here. But all council owned cars should be plug in that would be a good start for a council in a climate emergency.

  12. Fix the renewals/repairs process, MUST have some form of permanent-grade cycle infrastructure added.

    Also get some “temporary” cycle lanes installed in the meantime along all key corridors via paint and hitsticks (or those plastic separators like St Lukes Rd – those shouldn’t cost much right?) etc until such a time a permanent solution can be funded – if needed or just leave as is if it works fine. If it sacrifices a general traffic lane or parking, so what? Its meant to be an “emergency” now right?

    Some things that come to mind are:

    -GNR from Waterview to Henderson can have general traffic lane converted to bus lane shared with cyclists, yeah sharing with buses isn’t ideal but its better then trying to use a narrow 2-general lane type setup at the moment which pretty much bans bikes :/.
    -Royal Rd is wide and will soon connect to the NW cycleway, so add lanes along the length of it to feed in, add plastic buffers so less confident riders can use
    -Hobsonville Rd, essentially already has them but just need a parking ban on the shoulders, and maybe plastic buffers for most of the way for less confident riders
    -Don Buck Rd, wide enough, just ban parking and add the lanes and buffers

    I am sure there is plenty that can be done elsewhere in Auckland too. Paint and plastic separators can’t cost much right?

    1. Not sure Don Buck Road is consistently as wide as you’re suggesting there – in some places the footpaths are shockingly narrow – ironically enough it’s outside Massey High and the Primary School. Could be why the cycle lanes that are already there end up of the footpath for that section too.

      1. Yeah some of them link between Shared Paths in the area you are thinking of. I am referring to the section that doesn’t have any, i.e. between Red Hills Rd and Universal Dr. Its consistently wide for the most part. Universal Dr also has plenty of space for them and could connect up with the existing ones outside Pak’n’Save. Alternatively Universal Dr could get bus lanes, as its plenty wide enough on both sides of the planted median.

    2. Peter
      Great stuff. Practical changes that should be manageable by AT very quickly. There are many other more significant changes that should and must be manageable by AT, but one day at a time.

    3. Yes, Peter. I agree.

      And AT were told they should be harnessing the maintenance contracts in the Road Safety Business Improvement Review. Now we have a Climate Emergency Declaration requiring it too.

      It’s going to be 2.5 years between being told to and when the current maintenance contracts run out. Not exactly reacting in the spirit of the having Safety and Modeshift as their two top priorities.

  13. A climate emergency.. a bit extreme.
    I mean yes something needs to be done now, but an emergency usually means everyone stop what you are doing, pay attention and all efforts go to fixing the problem, or getting away from it.
    But are we all going to stop what we are doing and fix this… I don’t think so.
    Will council even pour all its money into fixing the problem, highly unlikely.
    Will any roading projects be cancelled and replaced with clean energy ones, unlikely.

    1. Seems to be the modern way – make some stupidly bold political statement and then do nothing. Same with Vision Zero.

      1. The lack of accountability is out of control, isn’t it?

        We commit in full and without question to adopting and supporting Vision Zero in 2018.

        And then don’t. With huge consequences. And no repercussions.

        1. That’s always been my issue with vision zero – there is no accountability because it’s impossible to achieve and there is no time frame. Had they committed to a 20% reduction in deaths over 3 years we would see some action.

          1. They have an interim target, Jimbo. So if an interim target is more powerful than an absolute goal of zero, we’ll be seeing the benefits of it anyway.

            And they have taken some action. It’s just too little, coming too late, and with too many naysayers getting their dibs in. Adopting Vision Zero and providing training to all staff immediately would’ve set AT on a different track.

  14. Some really simple stuff can be done such as council stop advertising their events as having plentiful and free carparking nearby.

    1. Auckland Council could charge for car parks at its amenities and return that revenue to lowering costs for all users.

  15. I am glad the declaration has been declared but hope that everyone voting for council this year considers what their representatives have done and intend to do to make things better. I love the post Matt, sets out very clearly how words can manifest into action.

  16. Meanwhile sewage continues to flow into our harbours, the roads are potholed, the shared path through waterview is still broken, the CRL is late, no LRT progress, little cycleway progress and rate rises continue to outpace inflation.
    The state of the council is the real emergency.

  17. Auckland Council’s declaration shows a ‘business as usual’ approach with vague statements such as:

    continue to robustly and visibly incorporate climate change considerations into work programmes and decisions
    continue to provide strong local government leadership in the face of climate change, including working with local and central government partners to ensure a collaborative response
    continue to advocate strongly for greater central government leadership and action on climate change
    continue to increase the visibility of our climate change work
    continue to lead by example

    We CANNOT continue what we have been doing: we need to make some real changes. Now.

  18. I wonder if Goff realised that to actually respond to the emergency the Unitary Plan would probably have to be completely rewritten. This in itself will be hamstrung by the RMA which only requires adapting to the outcomes of Climate Change rather than mitigating or eliminating the main causes. There are even specific clauses in the RMA preventing Council’s from considering GHG’s contribution to climate change.

    1. As I understand it, the RMA only restricts Council in terms of consenting activities. In terms of planning, and choosing where to put their funds, the RMA doesn’t restrict the Council.

      However, the general thrust that declaring an emergency makes it necessary to see what legislation prevents action, and urgently changing it – totally agree.

      1. Auckland Council and its CCO’s could tie some of the “at risk” component of their execs salaries to achieving carbon emission reductions. That will give an indication as to whether the organisations are taking this seriously.

        I note that a recent answer that I have had from the State Services Commission is that they do not intend to make this part of the “at risk” component of senior government employees.

        They could adopt voluntary carbon emission targets ahead of the legislated targets due in 2021. (I will be submitting that the legislation should provide for imposed interim targets on all central and local government).

        Most change that is occurring at the moment seems to be largely window dressing.

  19. What about all those diesel and petrol driven mowers that Auckland Council operates in its parks and reserves. They need to be electrified.
    One other thing if they were to pick up the grass cuttings in a catcher each night they could take them back to their yard and over time they could be fed into a bio reactor and used to make bio gas.
    The council already has expertise in producing and handling bio gas with its operation of land fuel gas recovery and Watercares anaerobic sludge digestion plant at the Mangere waste water treatment plant. In fact I would speculate it may be possible for this facility to handle grass clippings. So Climate Emergency council get on with it enough hot air we need some action.

  20. Meanwhile in the real world, South Auckland and West Auckland the poor families just need to know how much money they have left over for shoes or a loaf of bread. All I can see is taxes and cost increases hurting the poor in the belief this will stop climate change (you are all for “Climate Stop” after-all).

    I hope you all enjoy your international holidays this year. Enjoy your new electronic devices, globally manufactured fashion wear, your bottled water…. If you’re serious about the environment look at yourselves before casting judgement on councils.

    1. What a strange rant! What exactly are you suggesting in your strange, broad brush summary? That we pay LESS tax to build more sustainable infrastructure? That any electronic devices means that poor families can’t buy bread?

      1. Those families in south Auckland live in flood plains near sea level. They may wonder where their next loaf if bread is coming from, but it won’t come from flooding their homes. It may come from the savings of needing fewer cars.

    2. Scotsman, you raise a valid point about a just transition. Many of those in poor circumstances will be in that position partly because of the amount that they spend on transport. Say a family owns a Tucson and drive the average kms for Auckland. That already comes at a cost for petrol of $2500 per year before you take into account any finance cost, registration, warrant, repairs, servicing etc
      The writers of this blog have spent untold time and effort to ensure that there is a very good network so that many people will have a very real alternative to relying on a car, or perhaps even owning a car.
      There are a smaller group of us who are just as passionate about driving down the cost of PT for those who want to use it on a regular basis. I have often quoted the Vienna model where an adult can buy a yearly pass for the equivalent of $2 a day; and children much less. It only takes a little simple maths to work out that 2 adults and two kids can travel for less than the cost of the Tucsons petrol. To achieve such a scheme will of course require someone to pay for it. It is my strong hope that those who are better placed to do so are the ones who bear the cost.

      Unfortunately if poor people want to continue to drive they may have to pay more for this because changing the level of emissions will require everyone to drive less, so they cannot be compensated to allow them to drive the same amount. Hopefully government will see that they should provide a low cost PT alternative.

      So yes, everyone is important as NZ changes as it must.

  21. Am I the only one that thinks electric cars are going to seriously decrease transport emissions in NZ in the next 10-20 years?

    1. They will, and they will help us get off the crazy drug of spending almost everything we make form exporting Dairy to pay for oil. They are absolutely part of the answer, but not the whole answer, or even the quickest part of the answer…

      1. “the crazy drug of spending almost everything we make form exporting Dairy to pay for oil.”
        It is not helpful that we spend about 5 billion every year on imports of motor vehicles – this represents a hell of a lot of meat.

    2. It’s not a mutually exclusion path. All action is good.

      But fast action now has a major accumulative effect. On our current path most of the emissions have not occurred YET.

      Consider a $4000 ebike vs a $25,000 Leaf. Note that Leaf depends on overseas subsidies – so the true cost is higher. Let’s say the true comparative cost is 40,000.

      So for $40,000 we have have 10 ICE vehicles off the road with eBikes or 1 with a Leaf.

      There is also the second order effect of shifting to bikes. Assume we get 1000 people on eBikes instead of in cars. That is $60,000 * 1000 = 60 million in parking CAPEX that we don’t have to spend. Assuming population growth, etc, etc. Hand waving, but you get the idea.

      Turn that 60 million in parking CAPEX into bike infrastructure, and instead of the fearless 1,000, you get the 10,000 “only if there is a bike path” new cyclists. Suddenly, we can convert Victoria Street Park building into affordable apartments. And so on.

      Compound interest works when you invest early.

      All that is ignoring direct health (exercise), indirect health (pollution), and productivity benefits for cities designed at human (vs automobile) scale.

      1. Benefits that will primarily agglomerate to people who live within cycling distance of their work or near cycling infrastructure. Not much use to others. Also, I’m curious as to why these claims of ‘productivity benefits’ never include the lifestyle impact of the extra time required to commute by bike.

        1. Investing in more rapid transit and more cycling and walking infrastructure should mean that more and more Aucklanders see the benefits of being connected via these modes.

          For a lot of Aucklanders, cycling is already the faster mode, so there wouldn’t be any “lifestyle impact of the extra time required to commute by bike”. It’s the safer mode, too, for other road users. Unfortunately, it’s not the safer mode for the person cycling, which is why adult males are mainly benefiting from the incomplete cycling network. Equity for women and children requires that is fixed.

          People in the outer suburbs don’t see these faster times by bike. Nor are they well served by public transport. But how does a city catch up with rapid transit and cycling infrastructure when the city isn’t focused on that catch up, but is instead pursuing expansion, making the lack of access worse, for ever more people?

        2. 1. Bike+PT is a distance extender. Both programs are important. I regularly train with bike from Maukau to Britomart.
          2. Making our cities more compact is an important path to lowing emissions.
          3. 10km on an eBike is possible in <30min with no shower required. Parking is easier (at the moment) and you don't need to go to the gym.
          4. I've biked from the city to a meeting in Grey Lynn in 10mins. This is faster than getting a parked car, driving the route and finding a park again.

  22. Government has known about potential sea level rise for some years but only recently released the information to local councils. Said councils would have had to have their heads in the sand to not have known prior to receiving the information. In fact Rodney District Council discussed setting new floor level building restrictions more than 10 years ago.
    Millwater development of 3000 sites was before them awaiting approval about this time, it has many potential problems.
    Other developments have proceeded since the government released their findings e.g. Whitianga Waterways, Richmond Villas, Thames. These will all be swamped.
    Millwater roadways have followed a design pattern that began way back with the Manukau City Centre plan in the 1960’s, it was celebrated back then when the car was King and gas was cheap. The same design principal was used for Albany.
    That was then and this is now.
    At Millwater two existing and two new schools were required to center their pick up and drop off zones around one intersection, this removed these activities from the previous urban situations.
    Guess what? The intersection does not have a specific right turn lane to two of the schools. There is no off-street park and disgorging area for the buses, they have to park street-side and move back into a congested shambles of other buses and many mothers to allow the next bus to repeat the process.
    The main collector road is so narrow, the sections so small the streets are further congested by the average three cars per household that bus companies refuse to route their busses through there.
    There are ten thousand more houses planned for similar developments on the outskirts of Orewa.
    I understand the Mayor wants to see trees in his city, he’d better start talking to his city planners real soon. Lot sizes up here have shrunk to less than 500 sq m with homes of five and six bedrooms the new norm, there is no space for garden.
    I also see that older leafy inner-city suburbs have been rezoned to allow high intensity construction, existing established trees will go with no provision for replacements.
    The city urgently needs a new “Town Plan.”

    1. I don’t know what to think of that area.

      “… shrunk to less than 500 sq m with homes of five and six bedrooms the new norm, there is no space for garden” — Note to planners: if your designing a subdivision with plots larger than 250m², without providing useful gardens, go do something else with your life.

      Make no mistake. Those are large sections over there.

      “bus companies refuse to route their busses through there” — design feature, not a bug.

      The schools: note that the furthest point of Millwater is still under 3 km from the schools, a distance which many primary school kids can easily cover on a bicycle. Very bad sign if you don’t see bicycles at that school.

      1. “Note to planners: if your designing a subdivision with plots larger than 250m², without providing useful gardens, go do something else with your life.”

        Planners are hamstrung by planning rules that are usually decided by politicians. You still aren’t allowed to build attached houses in most of Auckland.

        1. Actually on mixed housing suburban and above you can do a party wall, if you own both sites so there is scope for terraces and duplexes… but all the other constraints like 40% maximum coverage, minimum ‘landscaping’ requirements, front yard setbacks of 3.5m, minimum off street carparking etc still apply.

  23. I believe we cannot win with CO2 full stop. Nothing we can do will stop CO2 rise. We can think we are doing the right thing by reducing our footprint however the elephant in the room is the population explosion.

    We went through 6 billion people in 1999, 7 billion in 2012 expected to be 8 billion in 2027 and 9 billion in 2046.

    If that just took you 10 seconds to read another 30 people have been added to earth.

    In one year another 80 million people will be on earth.

    The real emergency is population growth and until that is sorted we cannot win the CO2 battle.

    1. Basically to summarise the suggested options:
      1. Kill people – most of the population growth is people living longer.
      2. Make the planet livable for everyone.

      I prefer the second path.

      1. https://populationmatters.org/the-facts/climate-change

        Maybe read this Nicholas, not as extreme as killing people.

        The single most effective measure an individual in the developed world can take to cut their carbon emissions over the long term is to have one fewer child. In fact, their study established that it was 25-times more effective than the next most effective measure, living without car.

        1. The second most effective measure is actually drastically reducing or fully eschewing meat and other animal products.

      1. That’s the low growth estimate KLK. Most others have it hitting between 9-10B and then stabilising at that level.
        Most developed countries long ago stabilised their populations and they are only growing as a result of immigration. It is developing countries that need to work on stabilising their populations through sex education and contraception use.

        1. I read a few years ago that the best dollar value for reducing birthrates is to provide electricity and TV because it gives people something else to do in the evening. I don’t know that I believe it, but it would be brilliant if true.

      2. Probably not accounting for nanobots wiping out half the population by accident and the other half dying of simple infections because our antibiotics stopped working and the other half killing the other half for access to fresh water.

    1. Jonathon Pie has a great explanation of why Trump got elected. But my favourite is when he gets called in at the last minute to anchor breakfast TV.

  24. The council can only do so much.
    Central government has most of the key policy levers like:
    – getting serious about building high density housing near centres and PT. The cost of land and construction means the market can only deliver to the mid to mid-high end. The govt needs to be building thousands of apartments at low-mid price points over the next 5 years, over and above its social housing programme
    – banning the importation of fossil fuel vehicles, sooner rather than later (2025?)
    – providing more funding for PT

    1. Granted central government can do more, but local government can do their part. They are very significant procurers who can decide to purchase in a way that causes less emissions.
      In the quickly growing area of transport emissions they could adopt a variety of measures such as road tolls; increased parking charges; setting parking maximums; setting developments fees for businesses that provide parking etc. A few years ago they set targets for reducing fuel use. What was the point if there was no intention to achieve these targets?
      Auckland Council could encourage less car dependent development. Takapuna is about to have a significant apartment complex with only 5 car park spaces for electric cars.
      Much of this will depend on a desire to effect change.

      1. Takapuna is about to have a significant apartment complex with only 5 car park spaces for electric cars.

        Off topic slightly, but which development is this?

  25. I won’t be changing my travel patterns for any of this. I have been biking everywhere and using PT since I was a kid. The annoying thing is that if incentives are handed out to induce car-users to change, people like me will get nothing. Perhaps if a carbon-tax is introduced I can claim a refund for 50 years’ worth of not emitting.

    1. Thanks, Robert. I’m keen to hear if changing the target was all it took or if there were penalties also imposed if they weren’t on track to meet interim targets.

      And if it was simply altered targets that made the difference, is this because they have “widespread support for the programme at the executive levels within the organisation” – something I believe AT has been found to be lacking.

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