Auckland’s Climate Action Framework – Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri is a very readable piece of work resulting from extensive public engagement, and covering a lot of topics. It’s time to make your submissions – they’re due Monday.

Auckland has had a Low Carbon Strategic Action Plan since 2014. The most important point of difference offered by this Climate Action Framework is in these words:

Measuring progress and indicators

We have identified a set of indicators to monitor the impact of the framework and its delivery against outcomes. Some indicators already exist, and some will be developed. Together, they’ll ensure we track progress and can change course where needed to deliver a net zero emissions, climate resilient Auckland.

Over the coming weeks we will also set detailed targets and indicators against each of the 11 key moves, informed by the consultation feedback.

The setting of detailed targets and indicators – more than the narrative of the document itself (which is already pretty good) – is the most important task for Council now. This is what we need to help them to get right. Penny Hulse gives some context for how it will immediately shape outcomes:

The next few years are critical. Major changes take time to implement and many of the decisions made many years ago have locked us into high emissions…

The Climate Action Framework will inform detailed costed actions for Auckland Council and our council-controlled organisations. This will feed into the council’s next ten-year budget, which will be finalised in 2021.

In 2015, Auckland became a member of C40, a network of cities committed to addressing climate change. We committed that our peak of carbon emissions will happen no later than 2020

and that we will have a plan to reach the C40 targets shown by the red squares in this graph from Auckland’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory to 2016 (February 2019):

Council describes the measured emissions as follows:

Gross and net emissions in 2016 dropped from 2015 levels, however it is not clear if this is the start of a downward trend following a peak in emissions. Several years of data will be required to determine a trend.

Despite overall emissions dropping between 2015 and 2016, transport related emissions increased during the same period and also increased overall from 2009 to 2016.

Why this is no longer something you can ignore

Climate impacts are hitting harder and sooner than predicted a decade ago. A report released on Sunday for the United Nations Climate Action Summit has found:

The average global temperature for 2015–2019 is on track to be the warmest of any equivalent period on record. It is currently estimated to be 1.1°Celsius (± 0.1°C) above pre-industrial (1850–1900) times.

There’s not a lot of wriggle room left between 1.1°C and the 1.5°C limit the world must stay below to prevent catastrophic impacts. The Climate Action Framework summarises the impacts at 1.5°C vs those at 2.0°C. Even at 1.5°C the coral reefs are toast, but at least we’ll be able to save a framework of other ecological systems:

Greta Thunberg told the UN Climate Action Summit on Monday:

The popular idea of cutting our emissions in half in 10 years only gives us a 50% chance of staying below 1.5 degrees [Celsius], and the risk of setting off irreversible chain reactions beyond human control.

Fifty percent may be acceptable to you. But those numbers do not include tipping points, most feedback loops, additional warming hidden by toxic air pollution or the aspects of equity and climate justice. They also rely on my generation sucking hundreds of billions of tons of your CO2 out of the air with technologies that barely exist.

So a 50% risk is simply not acceptable to us — we who have to live with the consequences.

To have a 67% chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise – the best odds given by the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] – the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on Jan. 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons.

How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years.

The report released on Sunday, United in Science, details the emissions reductions required:

The current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) are estimated to lower global emissions in 2030 by up to 6 GtCO2e compared to a continuation of current policies. This level of ambition needs to be roughly tripled to be aligned with the 2 °C goal and increased around fivefold to align with the 1.5 °C goal.

However, if NDC ambitions are not increased urgently and backed up by immediate action, exceeding the 1.5 °C goal can no longer be avoided. If the emissions gap is not closed by 2030, it is very plausible that the goal of a well-below 2°C temperature increase is also out of reach.

From now on, stabilising the climate by reducing our emissions must take centre stage in everything we do. Obviously, we need a bold plan, and we need to remove any and all barriers to implementing it.

I don’t have space to cover all the issues. With transport being the biggest contribution to Auckland’s emissions, what I will look at is how the Climate Action Framework considers transport and the closely related land-use issues.

Auckland’s a relatively sprawly, car-dependent city, due to poor planning and poor investment decisions over many decades, but we have access to C40 planning advice, with focus areas on:

  • Comprehensive planning for denser, more liveable cities
  • Enabling transit-oriented development
  • Integrating climate change and adaptation priorities into land use plans and policies

A compact city reduces the travel per capita immensely, and allows for rapid modeshift to the sustainable transport modes. The Auckland of 2030, after ten years of housing provided only in the city centre, the inner suburbs and along transit corridors would be a much more compact and low-carbon city than the Auckland of 2030 created after ten years of business as usual sprawl development.

The demand for more housing within the central part of the isthmus comes not just from the growing population. It also comes from existing Aucklanders who – due to our housing crisis – are living on the outskirts of Auckland, often in overcrowded or substandard housing, and suffering longer commutes than they are happy with. Together, these are several hundred thousand more people needing housing in areas that tend to have restrictive building regulations.

A medium-sized city like Auckland should have a wide swath of 4 and 5-storey development throughout the isthmus, particularly along the transport corridors. For the sake of our poorest people today, and as an appropriate response to the climate emergency, we must enable this to happen now, and rapidly.

Here are some minor changes I think should be made to the narrative.

KEY MOVE 2: Enhance, restore and connect our natural environments

This section talks of “preserving” healthy, viable soils and an opportunity for a “blue-green network approach”, but it doesn’t go far enough to establish that, first, we must do no harm. Sprawl is incompatible with preserving healthy soil. I suggest the first actions should read:

  1. Stop sprawl.
  2. Use a blue-green network approach in regeneration areas.
  3. Remove the pressure to develop on green spaces by enabling and promoting the use of brownfield and paved areas such as carparks, and communicate the need for high density in the isthmus.

KEY MOVE 3: Make development and infrastructure climate-compatible

This section talks of a compact urban form but doesn’t prioritise this. I suggest the actions should start with these points:

  • Enable quality compact urban form that supports low carbon, high density, resilient development of existing urban areas.
  • Stop sprawl and stop building and widening roads.
  • Remove all barriers to high density development on existing brownfield sites and paved areas such as carparks, landfills, poorly developed sites, oversized roading infrastructure, disused industrial sites, and areas where people-unfriendly streetscapes, a lack of transport choice and ugly development have left a rundown and unappealing legacy.

KEY MOVE 5: Deliver clean, safe and equitable transport options

This section starts with electric vehicles, which do need to be part of a good transport plan. However, congestion, safety, transport poverty, urban destruction to accommodate ever widening roads and rapidly mounting road maintenance bills are problems stemming from our car dependency that are not solved with electrification. We are far better to use all best-practice tools available to us to reduce emissions by reducing traffic as we transform the whole transport network into one that offers better access by sustainable and healthy transport modes.

Emissions have dropped significantly in the low-traffic neighbourhoods of Waltham Forest.

I suggest these actions:

  1. Rapidly implement a “walkable city” with high quality, wider, well-maintained footpaths, trees for shade, lighting, water fountains, pocket parks with seating, frequent raised pedestrian crossings and top priority at signals.
  2. Rapidly implement a complete protected cycling network on all the main and arterial roads.
  3. Enforce regulations that impact on safety for walking and cycling, such as parking and red light running rules.
  4. Create low-traffic neighbourhoods throughout the city, including with default lower speed limits, in order to enable rapid modeshift to cycling and walking, including to public transport.
  5. Reallocate road space on the main and arterial roads to buses and cycling.
  6. Expand the bus network – improving bus priority everywhere, improving the frequency and span on all routes, increasing the number of frequent bus routes, improving the quality of bus stops. Ensure bus drivers are paid and treated well. Electrify and increase the bus fleet and associated infrastructure.
  7. Improve the passenger rail network with adding the 3rd and 4th main lines, prioritising maintenance and upgrade work and adding rolling stock to increase frequencies.
  8. Ensure each project can only decrease traffic volumes, not increase them. For this, effective road capacity, parking provision and intersection width for traffic should always be decreased, never be increased.
  9. Reduce parking supply and prevent the addition of any parking supply in a Council-owned facility.
  10. Use pricing to capture all externalities of driving, including public health and climate change costs.
  11. Enable the shift of deliveries to small electric vehicles, including cargo bikes.
  12. Enable the shift of freight to rail, and move the port business to Tauranga and/or Whangarei.

The rising concentrations of key greenhouse gases.


What will make this Climate Action Framework effective is setting it up with targets other than carbon emissions themselves, which have more than a two-year lag before we receive the data. The measures need to give much more immediate feedback.

Most important of all is establishing automatic pathways of action if the targets aren’t met; pathways that are “good to go” and don’t require any extra consultation to implement.

I’ve only just started working on my targets. You can see where I’ve got to in this document.

For those with the least time: the core proposals in the Framework are on pages 27 to 55.

For those with more time, these three submissions are the best I’ve read and raise many important points:

  1. The submission by Stephen Knight-Lenihan, a senior lecturer in environmental planning at the University of Auckland.
  2. A collated response from individuals in Plant and Food Research, Grey Lynn 2030, Waitemata Low Carbon Network, Equal Justice Project, Extinction Rebellion, Generation Zero, For The Love Of Bees, Women in Urbanism, Auckland University.
  3. A Response to the Framework from two workshops held at the University of Auckland. The workshops were open to graduate students and staff from across the University and there were 37 participants in all.

A fifty percent chance of avoiding catastrophic outcomes is not acceptable to me, but we’re not even tracking near that trajectory. Our children currently have very little chance of a decent future. I also understand the earlier we alter our infrastructure, the earlier we’ll have a liveable city, and the less it will cost in the long run.

Many people are trying to reduce their emissions, but people shouldn’t have to risk their lives cycling or walking on unsafe roads or spend long hours commuting. To really tip the scales for the climate, the city has to be rebuilt to make sustainable lifestyles the easy option. Let’s build that city.

Edit: It’s also occurred to me as we approach the council election, that landlords getting to vote in each ward they own property in has a strong dampening effect on Council being able to respond appropriately to the climate emergency. This antiquated quirk of our Council voting rules is not democratic. One action the Climate Action Framework should also include is advocating to government for a change to the legislation.

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  1. Numbers 2 and 6 wont happen with Auckland Transport in a hurry.
    Not when AT engineers make you wait the longest possible time to receive a cross signal then only give you seven seconds to cross said road. Good luck if not perfectly mobile. As for street trees? AT engineers are allergic to them being placed full stop.

    Number 6? Now tell that to AT as they continue to slash bus services in the very sub region that can ill afford more cars and climate change – South Auckland

    1. “Now tell that to AT as they continue to slash bus services in the very sub region that can ill afford more cars and climate change” – although if they aren’t being used (which I assume is the reason) then slashing bus services may actually reduce emissions.

      1. Now why werent they being used?
        Crap frequencies which are now even more crap (half hourly to hourly) rather than you know
        1) Drop to 16 seater shuttles
        2) Increase frequencies to 15 mins
        3) Maybe actually MARKET the routes. We have got a lot of new housing and residents who wouldn’t know the routes as those who were here in 2016 when the network began.

        But no, too hard for AT Metro.

        1. Totally agree Ben. I see 45 seat diesel monster buses leaving papakura train station with four or five passengers. Why arent the buses smaller like in Rotorua.

        2. Because the main cost is the driver. Running two different fleets is often more expensive.

          The answer is driverless buses, not driverless cars.

    2. Every time you cross at a traffic light, push the button again when you get to the other side. This (a) makes the traffic light experience for pedestrians more similar to that for cars, (b) helps out the pedestrians behind you who just missed this particular opportunity and (c) is therefore a means of reclaiming the city-scape from the physical settings the planners who tried to give it to cars.

      The only time this might not be worth it is the rare traffic light which is good to pedestrians (such as the Grafton Rd/Stanley St intersection on the crossing Stanley St leg). But that’s the point… these are rare traffic lights.

  2. Excellent post Heidi, thank you.
    I don’t think the urgency of the need to change is being instilled in the mid-level management across the key organisations here. We might have the best frameworks and guidelines in the world, but still no action. All those targets should be reflected in the KPIs of the mid-level management in AT (and regularly checked upon).

  3. What this planet really needs is a whole lot less people. Mass extinction of humans would be the best solution in many ways, as long as people don’t insist on cremation, as that’s just burning more gas. But extinction is a hard thing to achieve, voluntarily. It is also a hard thing to talk about: people don’t want to face the obvious truth.

    1. Let’s introduce a ‘breeding tax’. Having more children is bad for the environment. I’m sure the Greens would get behind this as climate change is “my generation’s nuclear free moment” according to the PM.
      We could use the tax raised from this initiative to help fund such worthy projects as the ‘third main’ or electrification to Pukekohe.

      1. As a person with a child, I can assure you that we already pay “breeding tax”. It may not be labelled such, but one does not give birth to become monetarily wealthier. Better to focus on the real disease, reliance on carbon heavy fossil fuels.

        1. With the endless supply of taxpayers money that is sloshing around, I don’t think raising a family is the burden it once was.

          Free school breakfasts and lunches.
          Working for families.
          Accommodation supplement.
          Rates rebates.
          Clothing allowance.
          Childcare subsidy.
          And numerous others are available as assistance to parents.

    2. If there’s a mass extinction and the remainder continue to live unsustainable lifestyles, the problems won’t go away. Whereas if we adopt sustainable lifestyles, and we continue with the education and healthcare that is bringing lower birthrates, survival with a stabilised population will be possible. That’s the humane route.

      One of the ugliest things I’m encountering at present is people thinking they can justify their excessive use of carbon (eg overseas flights every year) just because they haven’t had children. Next time I hear this I’ll ask if they’re intending to be the first volunteers to reduce the population.

      1. I’m looking forward to James Shaw leading by example when it comes to air travel – something he isn’t currently doing as evidenced by his spending more on international air travel than any other minister.

        1. He wouldn’t be attending international climate action negotiations on behalf of the rest of us by any chance? Has to be a saving right there.

    3. By the obvious truth do you mean a mass extinction of the worst polluters? The wealthiest 10% of the world account for 49% of the emissions while the poorest 50% account for less than 10%…
      Or are you talking genocide?
      In reality the best way to work on population is to empower women thru education and influence. When people have more control on their lives and health outcomes are improved, they have less children.
      So by “obvious Truth” I hope you mean a massive increase and aid and support for the Global South.

      1. While it is really tempting to point the finger at the Americans as worst polluters (starting with their leader as first candidate for automatic removal of living privileges…), NZ is a close runner up when it comes to numbers per person of polluting cars and trucks – probably worse in reality as we don’t have the equivalent of California’s clean burning agenda. But I’ve done the math, and genocide just doesn’t cut the mustard – very inefficient way to reduce the population. Take Rwanda for instance – its not even 30 years since their last mass slaughter, and already the population is higher than it was before. Killing people is not the answer, tempting as it may be to think that way.

        But we do need to have less people on the planet, even though it is politically uncomfortable for most people to come out and say so. Although the wealthy do breed slowly, they consume a lot of goods, and create a lot of pollution. On the converse side of the argument, the poor consume little but breed in an almost uncontrolled manner – blame religion, poverty and ignorance. Powder-keg areas of over-population are those in Africa, India and parts of the Middle East, where those three factors combine: an unpalatable truth. There is a strong correlation between areas of maximum poverty and population growth. Take for example poverty:
        and overlap that with population growth:

        Ross is absolutely right when he says that the best way to reduce population is to empower women through education. That’s the only method that really works. So yes, absolutely, massive increase in education, particularly around birth control. Any population replacement rate below 2.0 is good news for the planet, and our continued existence on it.

        NZ was working fine in this area, keeping our population low through our exceptionally low reproduction rate (at about 1.8, well below replacement value of 2.1) – but since the John Key era immigration boom, we’re now actually one of the fastest growing countries in the world – we’re hitting 5 million soon. We need to work on our own back story – and the world needs to do the same, everywhere. I wouldn’t say Daphne is right in calling it eco-fascism, but it is necessary to think about it, and to do something about it. That doesn’t make it “extreme right” – just a sensible acknowledgement of the facts.

        I lead by example: I have no children. Its the end of the line for me.

        1. India and several African Nations are some of the only Nations on track to do what they can (and agreed to) to limit warming to 1.5°C – 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Don’t blame them

        2. Your decision to have no children is something I respect.

          A society that accepts or condones lifestyles that are making the planet uninhabitable for our descendents is unsustainable and needs a paradigm shift. We need to recognise our consumption of resources as abnormal behaviour, and change it, not continue with that abnormal behaviour while thinking the solution lies in everyone stopping having children, which is a normal behaviour (and needs to be kept to sustainable levels)

          Anyone who works to reduce our collective footprint on the earth is doing a good job. Not having children can be a part of that, and it can also give peace of mind and hope. Where it excuses a lack of action on making changes to our society, that’s not so good.

          Changing what we do is the responsibility of us all, since we are all benefiting from our history and heritage. I don’t think you’re saying this, but it’s important not to think that this responsibility falls only on the shoulders of people who’ve had children in recent years, or worse, on those children.

        3. You could equally argue that someone like you should be having the children & train them up/influence them to be the best low pollution, low carbon human beings they can be which in turn will influence their neighbours, the political system & the world.

          Why let “your type” breed out & let the greedy, slack or uneducated on climate change people run the planet?

          I have several children & probably are pretty low carbon etc people particularly transport wise:
          I work from home.
          We don’t consume a lot of processed food, buy organic if we can afford it etc.
          Our children are/have been homeschooled (this is probably both good & bad).
          We mostly all walk, cycle or catch PT by and large when we can.
          We recycle pretty fastidiously (have a bit more time than some to do this as I don’t have any daily commute).
          Have a lot of garden stuff growing around the home.
          Poor enough not to be able to fly much….probably would if I had the money to be honest.

          PS Just got this email from Air NZ today interestingly: We are excited to announce the Air New Zealand 2019 Sustainability Report has landed. (link to the pdf report)

        4. Thanks for that, Grant.

          “The aviation industry contributes between two and four percent of global emissions. Air New Zealand emits around 3.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually, which makes us one of the country’s largest carbon emitters. Our domestic air operations account for about 0.7 percent of New Zealand’s total emissions.”

          … and the international air operations?

          “What is clear is we now need to grow in a different way.”

          Greta said on Monday: “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you!”

          “While we are delivering such benefits and working to minimise our carbon emissions, until aviation biofuels are readily available in New Zealand or there are significant technology breakthroughs such as electric aircraft, we are unlikely to deliver further significant carbon emissions reductions through our own operations.”

          So maybe if we charged Air NZ the $250/tonne CO2 that the Prod Comm says is needed for a sustainable economy, this might deliver some of the emissions reductions we need. If we don’t do this, we are saying the future generations must subsidise Air NZ.

          “In 2019 our carbon footprint (greenhouse gas emissions) increased by just over 5 percent. This was primarily due to network growth of four percent and fleet substitution challenges triggered by the Rolls-Royce engine issues.”

          This isn’t acceptable.

        5. I couldn’t agree more, when it comes to our foot print, to use agriculture as a comparison and imply cars only contribute 10% when our co2 output is one of the highest in the world is a cop out. it means as a nation we are one of the worst polluters combining our co2 and methane on a per capita basis.

          When it comes to population the only control that’s proved effective is that imposed by nature unless we do like China did, probably only possible in a dictatorship.

        6. Bryan, it’s interesting that China has now canned its One Child policy – it was working too successfully, and they were concerned about lack of growth. India, which used to have less population than China, is now set to pass them in population, and of course they are probably (at some level) regretting that they have been so successful at breeding. Particularly now that there are over 100 million Indian men who will never be able to have a wife. Their poor attitude towards female births is coming back to bite them in a big way…

          But even more interesting (to me anyway) was that while there was only one country with a One Child policy, there were many countries that had lower growth rates: including Italy, which is even more amazing considering that they are majority Catholic and the Pope still calls contraception a sin. Countries and people can, and indeed do, control their population levels through education and contraception, and not via harsh regulation.

        7. Grant there was a low birthrate after the 1930’s recession as there have been after most in recent years, but whether that only applies to countries with birth control I don’t know, it didn’t last the population of the world in 1930 was about 2 billion.

    4. That solution is worse than the problem. If you’re not trying to make the earth better for people living here, what are you trying to achieve?

        1. I think you’re on the same page with Ben, Ross. I think his comment was to average human, and he probably meant the people living here and their loved ones who follow.

        2. You can’t have a better life, if the population isn’t high enough for the things in life you want. You have a worse life… and potentially one that pollutes and burns and so forth just as much.

          Don’t think this is a risk? There are already several signs that NZ’s population is too small in order to sustain institutions valued for civic and/or cultural reasons in the internet age… And I’m sure you’ll agree, ending the internet to go back to reading physical newspapers is a bit counterproductive if your motive is environmentalist.

          Similarly, of course, population reduction schemes destroy the tax base used to address many environmental issues…

  4. I know it makes it even more complicated in both calculations and carbon reduction but what would the figures look like if international aviation and shipping that were directly Auckland related were added into the picture?

    1. According to the Environmark travel calculator if one does a return trip from Auckland to London its about 7.8 tonnes of carbon. For that you could drive about 43,000km in petrol car rated 1350-1600cc. But we also know that a relatively small number of people do much of the flying. So a vast number of people have to work hard to keep emissions down while a smaller group help blow out the carbon budget. Part of the new unequal economy.

    2. +1 It’s huge. How long before international tourism is no longer viable for NZ anyway? The resistance from the sector is as large as the resistance from the road building / financial / automotive sector to curbing sprawl.

      But if we put it into the too hard basket, we’re doing so knowing our kids will be left with no choice.

      1. If Greta can traverse oceans without polluting, why can we not scale that up a little bit and make Aotearoa that little bit more special?

      2. …meanwhile we have a government minister charged with promoting foreign tourism to NZ and a local body with a major shareholding in the airport. Cognitive dissonance seems to be a stock-in-trade of governments around the world.

  5. It’s just getting silly discussing climate change as it’s so hard to have a sensible conversation around it. Dreamers talk about an impossible utopia without sacrificing their comforts , former deniers now find different ways to slow’s already happened within 6 posts on this topic.

    I think even 11 years old know what needs to done to salvage anything from the planet so there are really no more excuses left not to immediately do everything possible to cut emissions among all the other things we need to do.


  6. Good post. Informative. It would be helpful to know how much of the transport emissions are caused by congestion. Excess emissions due to slow running has worked out to be a very small number in the calculations I have done. It is the sheer volume of people moving around that causes most of it.

    I think the big issue at a city level is the timeframes involved. When your top three ‘actions’ are actually about planning differently, you know it will be years (and years) before we see anything different on the ground.

    1. Yes, it’s a good point. The biggest short-term differences we can make are in transport. Ghent, for example, set its transport carbon emissions targets for 2030, and by implementing low-traffic neighbourhoods, achieved those targets in two years!!

      The planning changes will take longer. But my point is that a radical change now, with all barriers removed as a matter of emergency, will create a very different city even in ten years’ time. If we continue with BAU, most of the 300,000? homes we need in ten years will happen in greenfields developments, because there’s no real focus to scale up on brownfields development. If Council instead take this issue in hand, and stop the sprawl, enable the brownfields, those 300,000? homes will be central. The difference would be profound in terms of carbon emissions.

  7. We need far more drastic action than is being proposed up to now, the head lines from the UN report says this.
    Global temperatures on track for 3-5 degree rise by 2100: U.N.
    I cant see us doing the necessary cuts, people are to selfish to give up the lifestyles they are accustomed to, the only chance is for the oil age to collapse and pulls the rug from under us which might not be that far of.

      1. Tuvalu land mass increased 2.9% over 40 years.
        This does not equate to habitable or agriculturally productive land.
        Climate change effects are not exclusive to sea level rise.

        I encourage you to not get your news from headlines alone.

        1. I also read the report in the Guardian but quoted the UN which seems to have picked up on it, the report has been around in different publications and can’t remember where I first saw it I just assumed others had read it. If you read it it makes a lot of sense as a warmer climate increases the amount of moisture in the atmosphere and why we need to get our CO2 and Methane down far faster than the current proposals will achieve.

        2. What I know is that the climate is constantly changing, as it has been doing for thousands of years.

          Fox Glacier was advancing at a rate of about a metre a week in 2006 and was still advancing until January 2009. Since then there has been significant retreat. So, constantly changing.

          Ozone hole: Whatever happened to that? I remember all the doom and gloom about that. Now? Hardly any mention of it.
          Constantly changing.

          For me, the science isn’t settled. It’s still evolving.

        3. Vance – I agree that science is never settled, however this doesn’t stop it showing strong evidence of something happening. The two examples you mention back this up.

          Fox and Franz Josef have been well studied and are more heavily impacted by decade to decade precipitation changes than other glaciers. That is why they fluctuate more than other glaciers. however like most other glaciers in the world they have an overall trend of retreating.

          The Ozone hole was largely caused by CFCs, which were subsequently banned, the hole is slowly repairing itself. This is a perfect example of science identifying a problem and people changing behaviour to solve it. The reason you don’t hear much about it is more to do with media focusing on the flavour of the month than anything else.

        4. Vance,
          The planets climate system is variable over millenia.
          Anthopogenic climate change means that this variation is happening in centuries if not decades.
          All glaciers have seen a net loss in volume and length within the past century.
          The ozone hole crisis was averted due to successful international co-operation.

          I encourage you to seek better understanding of the scientific method.

        5. Thanks for those links, Royce. I haven’t had time to watch yet, but I will, and I will circulate them too.

        6. Heidi one hour 16 minutes in on the first video Walter Jeheme explains how healthy pastures produce hydroxyl radicals which can negate 100 times more of the methane the sheep and cattle produce. If he right then our government is barking up the wrong tree when it comes to including methane emissions in the Emission trading scheme. Or to put it another way James Shaw should be prescribing a farming system which if individual farmers could show that they were following that system then their farm would be excluded from the the ETS with respect to methane. If the were farmers were prepared to forgo the use of nitrogen fertiliser as well then maybe they could be excused nitrous oxide emissions as well. However I believe the nitrous oxide emissions cost will be added to the cost of the fertiliser so that is a mute point. There is still time for the government to change its stance. And then the country could get on to the real villain in the piece which is to eliminate the use of fossil fuels. I recommend all readers on this site to watch the videos then maybe we can have some meaningful debate instead of ill informed posts which are starting to resemble Stuff comments.

      2. Vance,
        You’ve misunderstood the science and have made the false assumption that it is either one or the other (but not both).

        I assume that your referring to the Kench et al 2018 Nature paper (“Patterns of island change and persistence”). Have you read it? I have & they make no mention of subsidence directly and are only interested in the local relative sea level rise (which includes subsidence as well as global contributions of thermal expansion & melt-water).

        The reality is that Tuvalu has both subsided and increased in land area. Subsidence rate is around 0.5 mm/yr. Sediment eroded off the coral reefs and deposited around the larger islands by wave action currently exceeds that being eroded from those islands. Whether that continues longer term remains to be seen. If coral growth keeps up with erosion rate & sea-level rise then atoll islands will continue to exist. However there are problems with ocean acidification making it harder for corals to precipitate calcium carbonate from seawater. Coral response is either to grow slower or weaker. Then there’s the question of whether sea-level rise rate continues similar to present or increases significantly…

        I also encourage you to read beyond headlines.

  8. Too much information Heidi if we are going to save the planet we have to keep it simple. So stop burning fossil fuel. So bring on the electric buses. I would be very interested if someone could find out the lowdown on how the electric bus on the 380 is preforming. It is not in everyday use so I am thinking that it has issues. I expect most posters to this site will have had a look at the Public Transport User association plans for rail. I must admit I agree with most of it except the direct link to the airport from Puhinui and the Avondale Onehunga deviation although that may be needed eventually. However the idea of expanding south along the railway line seems good to me. As for intensifying the existing city all good. In fact in Papatoetoe and Mangere that is exactly what is happening. One hundred year old houses on large sections are being either bowled or transported away and are being replaced with 4 or 6 townhouses. In some cases three level and Housing New Zealand is building a multi level apartment bulk in Hillcrest road adjacent to the railway station.

  9. Great article Heidi.

    On land use, while the AUP was a step in the right direction towards a compact, walkable transit-based city, it was only a tiny step.

    Council needs to have the courage to have a new, bolder, up-front conversation about the future shape of the city, as this is so critical to reducing emissions and pollution. This conversation never really happened in framing the AUP, ignored as an opportunity and largely drowned by the legalistic RMA process.

    We don’t currently have swathes of 4-5 storey, and at current rates it will take aeons to change. Planning and Building consent processes are still way too focused on preventing more climate-positive solutions (witness Panuku Dominion Road apartments and Cohaus’s experiences, amongst many others), and the unambitious planning framework for the Isthmus protects current urban outcomes in a way that actively prevents a low-carbon intensification model.

    If Council is serious about responding to the climate challenge it needs to initiate a proactive, positive public dialogue on what urban form to move forward with:

    – does the city want to create swathes of 4-5 storey? This means change on every street, extensive upcoming across the isthmus, and gearing the development model around large numbers of walk-ups/low rise apartments, with consenting made easier for this model to make delivery possible.

    – alternatively, do we want a ‘spiky’ density pattern with height at transit nodes. This means accepting and actively planning for tower forms in clusters across the central isthmus, as per Vancouver suburbs. While it may then not affect every street, it will mean massive transformation in many places currently regarded as pretty much static.

    – what other models may be possible, and what ideas can citizens contribute?

    The two identified above have quite different infrastructure needs, delivery models, long-term business and activity patterns, and very different impacts during construction. The first item alone (transit and pipes infra) has very long lead times and needs tight coordination with the planning framework.

    Whatever the direction, it needs more ambition, clarity and coordination from Council. AUP is really just business as usual if we’re honest. It’s nowhere near enough to get near even a 50% scenario.

    1. +1 I am disgusted to hear that the Orakei Local Board and the Albert Eden Local Board – or at least its chair – are looking at scheduling entire “villages” – Mt Eden and Upland Road to preserve their character. This would stymie either development model you proposed in those key locations.

      The problem is across all political platforms. These people actually believe what they’re doing is good. But I will be telling the AELB members to their face that what they are proposing is climate change-inducing generational inequity. And if they can’t see this, they need to move on.

  10. The environment will always be trumped by money.
    Consumption and consumerism / capitalism fuels the economy – reducing emissions literally means slowing things down – the two processes cannot meet in the current system.

    1. Heidi
      There is something from the C40 Cities that you have overlooked and that is decarbonising the grid. This should be easily achievable because essentially all it needs is dollars to build renewable energy power stations.
      Remember Huntly Coal is supposed to close by 2022.
      If NZ runs the remaining gas turbines then our gas supply will run out by 2029 and 400k businesses and homes will be without gas.
      Decarbonising the grid is the urgent matter to be addressed. It is pointless to power EVs from fossil fuels and that’s what will happen if fossil fueled power is not phased out.

      1. Yes, I had to leave out lots of stuff that’s really important. Another one with big implications is:

        KEY MOVE 6: Move to a zero carbon, climate-resilient economy

        The C40 Climate Action Planning Programme guides cities to:

        “Detail the wider social, environmental and economic benefits expected from implementing the plan and improve the equitable distribution of these benefits to the wider population.”

        I feel the Climate Action Framework doesn’t detail these benefits well enough. It simply says:

        “But climate change can also present new opportunities. For example, some regions may grow crops not possible before.”

        There’s so much benefit from a circular economy that they could’ve gone into.

    2. “After the C40 Summit in Mexico, we committed to doing twice as much in half the time,” Lord Mayor Clover Moore of Sydney said. “Greenhouse emissions in the City of Sydney peaked in 2007 and have declined every year since – despite our economy expanding by 37 per cent.”

      Read the C40 Reports – C40 cities are growing strongly at the same time that they are decreasing emissions.

  11. Not much of a day for cycling I have just returned from the dairy I could hardly walk against the wind let alone cycle. Contrast that with the cycling video from that flat German town. Every time I have being in Germany it seems calm. Yet they generate large amounts of electricity with wind. We must have a huge wind generation potential.

    1. In Paekakariki we have been trying to develop a community windfarm. We have the community behind us. We have done the research on the site with a windmast and it has great wind. We have ex Meridian wind experts giving us free advice. But it is on land that is owned by NZTA bought under the Public Works Act in order to build Transmission Gully. We need an easement to build it. We have had numerous discussions with various agencies concerned (NZTA. LINZ) and we have been to various MPs and Ministers. None of them will help solve the problem for us. If this current coalition government cannot help get such a project off the ground then solving these climate problems seems pretty challenging.

        1. Up to five turbines each about the size of the Wellington one at Brooklyn. No thought yet about batteries or otherwise. But trying to get solar panels on all local schools.

        2. Royce, Paul, I thought the plan for Paekakariki was to feed the output directly into the grid locally, so that the community gets free electricity first, and then the surplus to go to the National Grid.

  12. An enormous amount of material here but just to focus on transport.

    Light rail is a write off in Auckland, West Auckland and especially upper west is now denied anything more than the status quo. So surely government can lead rather than talk up a storm and deliver a whimper by adding to the North Auckland lines regeneration and run suburban train infrastructure to Helensville. At the same time furthering infrastructure to allow more trains via the established suburban NAL network.

    That would be meaningful, do-able and practical. Given this government has absolutely nothing to show Auckland for their time in power in the transport area, this would help!

  13. Agreed, they have nothing to show! I can’t believe what we are hearing from the UN summit and from Adern herself vs the reailty on NZTA consulting on whether to build a lift or stairs on one of the most popular Transport projects seen in NZ in the Skypath!

    Light Rail aside, there should be minimum a start immediately on

    – All planned cycle lanes
    – Skypath
    – Future proofing NW route and building stations (LR or Busway – something HAS to be built
    – 3rd and 4th main
    – Immediate start on all main Panuku projects (Takapuna/Avondale/Northcote centres)
    – Unitec Kiwibuild
    – Electric Buses

    1. Joe, I agree with most of what you say, but the Panuku plans for Northcote and Takapuna both forgot to include rapid transit stations. The Takapuna plan with its mass sell-off of public space to private developers really sucks. Both plans need serious revision.

      Also, we need a heck of a lot more separated cycleways than are planned for the next year (which by the way is again zero on the whole North Shore) and we need a lot more light rail than is planned if we are to even get close to the current targets.

      I really think that we should plan urgently for rapid transit stations at all of our urban centres.

      1. Why would you need a station at Takapuna when it will be way less busy than Victoria Park and that copes admirably without one. It copes admirably because it is largely “turn up and go” just as should be the case with Takapuna.
        As Takapuna grows (medium rise at 40 Anzac among other places) it will have more frequency; and it should have greater frequency as some of us abandon our cars.
        Takapuna could also have better frequency by linking with the network with some 82 services i.e. run them Milford to Akoranga and we could lower the night frequency from 30 minutes to 10 minutes.

        1. I think we want stations at all of our urban centres, including Takapuna. Transport hubs play an important role in creating an easy-to-use network and make frequent local feeder services much more viable. They are places to meet and to easily change lines. We have stations at many other urban centres in Auckland – are you saying they should be sold because nobody needs transit stations?

  14. When I walk along the streets in my area on recycling collection day, I see overflowing recycling bins filled with plastic bags and unrecyclable junk. There is no education on recycling (that people know of). I nag my flatmates on a daily basis to ensure they are recycling correctly. When I say this can’t go in the bin, or this needs to be washed before it can go in, they respond: “how did you know that? I had no idea.” The next day they do the same thing. My flatmates are all in their early 20s. They ‘claim’ to care about climate change but aren’t willing to change any of their habits, or rather do anything inconvenient.
    Education is the best strategy. People don’t see the consequences of their actions. Why are there not education campaigns, like for smoking, that target environmentally unfriendly habits? The government can take the lead but it will be the people that will solve this crisis.
    I live in one of the best-served areas for public transport getting into the city. I have friends that drive 600 metres from their homes to the end of the road, for they don’t want to walk to the bus stop.
    It’s easy to call out the government for lack of action, yet the vast majority of people do not change their own habits to lower their footprint. Education is key.

    1. Education is important. Those working in the community (running workshops, establishing carbon-sequestering and emissions-reducing initiatives) need more assistance from central and local government to help educate and promote these ideas. When billions are spent by the automotive industry to make cars attractive, it’s very hard to counter that.

      But many of our initiatives should be being scaled up across the city, too. Where we are fixing other people’s stuff and composting other people’s food and garden waste and establishing processes to deal with other people’s recycling, those people should be paying for our work. It’s not education that will allow this, it’s Council decision-making to direct and fund these sorts of operations.

      When externalities aren’t costed, personal responsibility will never work as the only tool. Education can only go so far.

      1. Agree we need to educate but enabling is maybe more important. I lived in Germany in the 80’s, at the end of the Strasse were communal bins for all manner of recycling, composting and sharing clothing etc. When it is made that easy you don’t need to worry about the education as it is just seen as what you do.

  15. Regarding population, it is expected to increase for another 30 years, and then go into permanent decline, as the birthrate global average will drop below the 2.1 needed to sustain let alone grow the human race. So that problem is going to go away later this century. In fact the population will be back to where it is now around 2100. After that we will have surplus infrastructure and housing and population decline continues.

    “Stop sprawl”

    So where will new houses on new sections go? Remember, houses on sections are by far the most popular choice for most people in New Zealand. Are you talking about removing choice and putting in place rules that force people to live as you would like to see them live?

    My 3bdm home on a 1200sqm section has a total value of $79,000. Why would I want to sqeeze into a 40sqm box valued at $600,000 with no privacy or rights to do anything to the place? Are you representing the developers who love apartments because they can sqeeze $600,000 out of someone to occupy a mere 5sqm of land?

    That’s the point you urbanists keep missing. You are not just advocating a change to how people live, you are wanting to see state-backed enforcement of an ideology that also happens to lead to big profits for some. That’s the kind of thing we have fought wars to prevent happening.

    No thanks. I’m happy sticking with my house and using my car. It’s called freedom.

    1. I think you are being a bit paranoid, no one is suggesting forcing people who live in a 1200sqm section in Taumarunui to move to 40sqm box in Auckland.

      I agree with you that freedom is key. Freedom includes being able sell your house on a section in Epsom to someone who wants to build 10 dwellings on the same section. If there is demand for these dwellings and a willing seller/willing buyer situation there is no need to restrict this. Currently this freedom is not available.

      1. Its funny how those shouting the loudest about freedom often want to limit other peoples freedom. Like choice of different types of houses/apartments, transport options, etc.

        “Freedom” = conformity
        Like something out of 1984 …

    2. Haha, Geoff thinks being able to build Inner City Apartments in the likes of Grey Lynn so people who want to live close to where they work can means that we are going to round everyone in McMansions up into vans and make them live in Studio apartments with 5 other people.

      Get a grip Geoff, you can live where you want..I can’t!

    3. I’m with you Goeff

      There does some be some desire to remove all rules related to building or city planning to let developers go and do anything they like, but conversely enact some draconian laws to prevent people from being able to drive car.

      1. Which laws are those Richard? Can you point to me any proposed laws to stop people being able to drive a car?

        Again, if you could point me to any laws that would allow developers to do anything they like?

        1. Sorry about that Joe, I worded things a little too casually which maybe is what made you think was being completely literal.

          For a little elaboration:
          Currently the aim of the game is to get people out of cars but drawing the line at actually banning it. So the tools being used are reducing speeds everywhere rather than where appropriate, installing speed bumps everywhere rather than where appropriate, reducing road capacity to increase congestion, changing signal phases to make intersections less efficient and increase congestion, creating new road layouts that don’t comply with standards and create safety hazards etc.

          In terms of developers:
          We’ve already removed the requirement to provide on-street parking in residential neighborhoods which has resulted in pretty much all new developments having no (or very little) on-street parking resulting in people parking all over the footpaths. Now the plan is to remove the parking requirements from the homes in these neighborhoods which will only result in more people parking on footpaths or blocking the road.

        2. Reducing speeds everywhere and installing speed bumps is actually about not killing or injuring so many people. If it has the side effect of encouraging more people to get out of their cars and walk/bike instead then that’s a bonus…

        3. ” is actually about not killing or injuring so many people”

          Sorry GlenK, if this were actually the case they would be doing it were there are safety issues 1st rather than places were they’ve been no recorded crashes in over 20 year.

          Hence why I said “rather than where appropriate”

  16. “Use pricing to capture all externalities of driving, including public health and climate change costs.”

    NZ productivity commission estimated real carbon prices of about NZD250 / tonne to get to zero carbon.

    That’s about 10x current prices & the carbon tax on fuel will need to go from 4c/l to 40c/l.

    1. Honestly, the Productivity Commission aren’t actually as good with the technical stuff as they should be. For example, where a lot of leading trade economists spend much of their time on the digital revolution and the likely effects of these, the Productivity Commission is ignoring this work. Not disagreeing with it, but actually not engaging with it. Makes you wonder about the quality of the rest of what they do… which is a problem when it’s too technical to really check (even if someone was an individual with the skills to do so there are big information and time constraints).

      Although whether it’s the Commission or you who’s seemingly putting all these costs on one cause (instead of distributing them across all causes and in proportion to their magnitude) I’m not sure.

  17. On Point 2, cyclovias, the not side by side smelly cars options are the best ones. Excitingly New Lynn Avondale is supposed to begin construction next month, I can’t find anywhere to lobby for the New Lynn to Sunnyvale rail trail however. It is perhaps the West’s greatest missing link.

  18. Key Move 3

    It’s also worth pointing out that those 5 storey developments can become VERY energy efficient very easily in Auckland’s Climate. Compared to the stuff that is currently built or has been built Passive House Building can be achieved with minimal cost impact.

    We just have to stop reinventing the wheel for our ‘unique’ climate and get on board with th advancements made elsewhere in the world.

  19. Looking at the data 50% of our emissions come from agriculture whereas only 10% come from cars.

    Looking at it further emmisions from cars hasn’t really changed all that much over the past 20 years with it going up and down between 8,000 and 9,300 kt. Interestingly enough, our vehicle emissions from cars have been increasing since 2013 which also happens to coincide with the roll-out of various pro congestion anti-car projects.

    I’m more inclined to believe that if you’re interested in CO2 emissions, you would be better off reducing your meat intake as this is where 50% of our emissions are. Although getting more people on bikes and can help, the measures used to do this likely increase emissions resulting in the net change being =/-0.1% or so.

    1. NZ exports 90% of its beef, lamb and dairy production. This production doesn’t respond to domestic demand which has been dropping for years. So going vegan changes your personal emissions profile but it does nothing for NZ’s CO2 emissions.

      In terms of local consumption, transport way out-weighs agriculture.

    2. Emissions from the road transportation category increased 93.4 per cent between 1990 and 2017, (data from the Greenhouse Gas Inventory).

      If you want to look at emissions from personal vehicles instead of trucks, make sure you include the SUV’s and utes that people are using now instead of cars.

      1. I was referring to the “cars” category from the same data it appears you’re referring to.

        From what I can see, SUV’s and Utes are in the cars category. Given the “light duty trucks” are almost exclusively diesel it appears it does indeed represent light duty trucks and not SUVs/crossovers.

        It does indeed seem light truck usage has gone through the roof, you can sort of see this on the road with the growing trend for people to get things like groceries delivered to their door.

    3. I largely agree with you regarding meat. However, it is a little bit more complex than what you describe as meat has a much shorter carbon cycle as the animal is eating grass that has recently absorbed its CO2. It is of course Methane which is worse as a greenhouse gas.

      In contrast our vehicles are releasing carbon that has been trapped in the ground for millions of years.

      1. I agree that its a rather complex process and hard to know the full facts.

        However looking at the simple fact that 50% of our emissions come from agriculture and only 10% comes from cars its pretty clear we should focus on where we can make a big difference.

        It sort of shows where peoples agendas are when they completely dismiss touching the 50% polluter, but a prepared to go to police state levels in the goal of getting a 1% reduction somewhere else

        1. You haven’t been reading consistently if you think I “completely dismiss touching the 50% polluter,” Richard.

          Regenerative agriculture is a core interest of mine. Farming should be fully in the ETS. I am also campaigning to government to pressure the IPCC to alter what land use changes it recognises in carbon accounting, so that there’s no excuse for agriculture to not be fully in the ETS, and so that farmers get every bit of incentive to change from exploitative to carbon sequestering practices.

        2. Once you take out exports and look purely through the lens of domestic consumption then we actually have a greater ability to influence vehicle emissions.

          There are of course other ways of reducing ag emissions through regulation and some of this really should be happening as a by-product of water quality regulations anyway.

        3. The sad thing about our agriculture emissions is how unnecessary they are. Agriculture can be and should be a carbon sink.

        4. Sorry Heidi, I was just going by your repose where you completely dismissed the idea “So going vegan changes your personal emissions profile but it does nothing for NZ’s CO2 emissions.”.

          I’m unaware of you talking about reducing meat consumption at any point.

          The irony I saw is that you say going vegan changes your personal profile, and seemly completely ignoring that changing your mode of transport is also only changing your personal profile.

          Just imagine we went to the say lengths to reduce peoples meat consumption as we do to stop people driving.

        5. Based on the calcs I made before Jezza, a 20km return trip equals about 90g of meat. So if you live 5km from work and decide to bike rather than drive you’re saving about 45g worth of meat in terms of CO2. (this assumes the action of biking generates no CO2)

  20. Based on an average car using 7l/100km, and commuting 10km each way you use 1.4l of fuel to get to work and back.

    1.4 x 2.3 = 3.2kg of CO2

    Based on 36.4kg of CO2 per 1kg of beef your commute to work and back you get about 90g of beef.

    Apparently an average kiwi eats about 273g of beef a day, so based on that a 10km commute generates 33% of the CO2 your daily beef consumption.

    The above is based on google searches and using the 1st results.

      1. As I said I was using the 1st result from a google search.

        It claimed on average kiwis go through 100kg of meat a year. I thought it was rather high but I wasn’t there to pick and choose the values.

        1. ..and so you claim that meat=beef. That is a really duplicitous thing to do as beef has a much higher GHG impact than poultry.

          You are not arguing in good faith, Richard.

        2. Hey if you want to go an generate your own data go for it. That would be more productive that claiming its all lies.

          You could equally get upset and claim many people only commute 2km to work and therefore my numbers are all wrong, or that some people drive 6l v8s with the handbrake left on getting 20l/100km. Other folks remove their catalytic converters meaning they generate more harmful gases.

          For me 273g seemed a little high, however given I used to go through about 300g per meal which including lunch could put me at over 500g a day I didn’t think it was outlandish.

    1. A better source than google is a book called “Time to Eat the Dog” by Brenda and Robert Vale – hugely respected researchers at Victoria University. They’ve done a fully scientific evaluation of CO2 emissions of both cars, household appliances and pets etc – interesting reading. Results are something like: 1x Alsatian = equiv of 1x SUV.

      Their argument is: have pet chickens or pet rabbits, enjoy them, and then eat them. Personally I’d go for chickens – non-stop supply of eggs too, in return for a cupful of household scraps like potato peelings. And they’re none too friendly, so you don’t feel too sad when you wring their neck…

  21. But what about our plastic bag ban, the one that means we need to reduce our rapidly accumulating stockpiles of “reusable” bags between 150 and 3000 times (depending on its type) to offset the increased energy cost.

    Or our ban on off-shore gas exploration that will mean these developing countries that can’t even afford a stable power supply will need to remain dependent on coal and charcoal rather than significantly cleaner natural gas.

    Or there are our electric cars which will require us to cover half the country in solar and wind generators plus enough batteries to run the country for 3-6 months.

    1. Switching our entire car fleet to electric will increase power consumption by around 20 %, this could mostly be covered by geothermal.

      1. Based on my very average calculations we would need an extra 11,750 GWh which is about a 27% increase to cover just our cars.

        But then if people start doing inductive charging that could be a 50% increase.

        Where do you plan to open all these new geothermal plants taking into account we need to close our coal and gas plants?

        On the plus side, our geothermal and hydro means we wont need as many batteries as other countries.

      2. ‘Where do you plan to open all these new geothermal plants taking into account we need to close our coal and gas plants?’

        Presumably in the Taupo Volcanic Zone, it’s nearish the biggest population and has the obvious advantage of being geothermal. Put it this way they are unlikely to start appearing in Eastern Southland for example.

      3. Not too sure how easy they are to make these days, they take up quite a large amount of space and have somewhat limited life spans.

        Not saying they can’t be part of the mix, but we’re losing about 30% of our generation potential and geothermal may only change that to a 25% loss. Meanwhile we could be needing an extra 50%.

      4. There’s a number already consented that haven’t been built yet.

        While EVs will increase overall consumption significantly they won’t increase the need for generation capacity by anything like 30 %. They will likely draw most of their power outside of the peaks effectively smoothing demand, something geothermal is ideal for.

      5. Consents tend to expire if nothing happens, so unless they are new ones they may already need to redo them.

        My understanding of things like geothermal is that they are good base load plants but take a while to ramp up and down. I could be wrong however. The issue we will have going forward however is solar is only good on sunny cloud free days, wind is only good when it’s windy and hydro needs rain. Other than geothermal we will need batteries to hold months worth of power and to smooth out peaks. We likely will need double the generation capacity to account for the fact half of it can’t operate half the time.

        With the rise of electric cars and home storage we may see usage peaks become a thing of the past and demand always be high while these things keep looking for the cheapest time to charge.

      6. Actually Nick the purpose of the lakes is to increase the head and therefore energy generation potential.

        The amount of power they generate is already limited by seasonal fluctuations. They can certainly help, but can’t run the country for days on end.

      7. Richard – you’re right about geothermal being baseload, it’s what makes it great for EVs, as there will probably be roughly the same amount of charging going on each night.

        I think you are confusing the actual hydro lakes with the storage lakes. You are correct that lakes like Lake Dunstan, Lake Benmore, Lake Maraetai etc are there to increase the head. They have negligible capacity. The real stored capacity is in the storage lakes higher in the hydro catchments such as Lakes Hawea, Pukaki, Tekapo and Taupo. These often have months worth of potential in them.

  22. “that something is to apply science to the problem”

    And once you apply thermodynamics, engineering and economics to the science you will realise how many of your suggestions are unworkable.

    1. All those technologies exist. But just using the aviation example an insignificant amount of renewable fuel is being produced and aviation is growing far faster than the growth in such production (if you go to the Lufthansa website you mentioned you will see it is 80% replacement not the 100% you mentioned, production is not going well, and most people are not using the scheme as they seem unwilling to pay) . The lead in times for production of such fuels is very long and also require a dramatic increase in electricity production from renewable sources. If we had 50 years to sort this all out, the price of carbon was considerably higher, that people accepted the risks versus the benefits of nuclear power, growth was not so dramatic in the industry. then technology might save us. But the responsible actions are cutting back until we do have the technological solutions in place

  23. The recent Spinoff article on the AC response to the carbon neutral city is interesting and gives meaning and hope to their intentions. While they are able to control some aspects of others lives by reducing inner city public parking and encourage alternative low energy methods of travel their plan for the Council’s own operation is quite realistic. It indicates that they are approaching what they can influence and control I’m sure that will have an affect on how we citizens behave as well. It is interesting that the largest section of emmissions is in their built environment.
    here’s the article I refer to:

  24. I wonder how many of those attending the climate strike protest today will commit to not having families and no air travel among other things?

    If indeed we are facing an emergency, then by definition it requires immediate action.

    I look forward to hearing what steps they’ll take.

    I’ll do my bit by taking the train the next time I go into Auckland city.

      1. In Wellington, massive numbers of young people on the streets marching for Climate Justice (“What do we want? Climate Justice!! – When do we want it? NOW !!!!”) – latest Stuff report says 40,000 but I would suggest a lot more – probably nearer 100,000. Not a car in sight. Everybody walked in or bussed in, and walked or bussed back out again.

        A friend of mine there came up with a beautiful solution – limit voting to the under 30s. The older generation have failed – had their turn and screwed it up. The time belongs to the younglings, and they’re ready to take it on now.

      2. If they cared about the environment so much they could have spent their time planting some trees instead of protesting.

        All they’re doing is virtue signalling.

      3. Of course if the off-peak PT fares were cheaper, had daily/weekly fare caps & we had better frequencies etc etc we would achieve a better usage of PT all day long.

        Good to see so many young people out there making their voices heard, all sorts of actions are needed to achieve change, this is just one of them.

  25. ‘I wonder how many of those attending the climate strike protest today will commit to not having families’

    If indeed we are facing an emergency, then by definition it requires immediate action.

    I look forward to hearing what steps they’ll take.’

    How dare you!

    1. My God!
      Queen St, Auckland is going to be under water up to Aotea Square screamed a protestor yesterday.

      That being the case, there should be an immediate halt on further works for the CRL. We’ll have to resort to the North Haverbrook solution to future proof our PT.

      Never seen so much mass hysteria in my life. No fossil fuel cars or babies for that lot. Yeah right.

      Some of it was fronted by James Shaw in Wellington. A hypocrite if ever there was one. The minister who has spent the most on air travel.

      For the record: I support the CRL. I don’t think Britomart will be under water any time soon – just like the Pacific Islands.

      1. Britomart is already underwater (it has barrier walls, large sump pumps etc) and parts of the CRL is going to be underwater regardless.

      2. Vance – you’re being a dick. Try harder not to.

        We’re talking about a metre or more average sea level rise within the next 100 years, not tomorrow. But the actions people take now, will affect sea level in 100 years, so think ahead buddy. If we do absolutely nothing and don’t change our behaviour, there will be continued human-caused release of excess CO2 into the atmosphere, which the carbon cycle cannot absorb with disastrous consequences. What the protesters are saying is that if we (the world) acts now to change these self-destructive behaviours, there is a slim chance it may not be as bad. Is that so hard to understand, to feel empathy for, and to do something about?

        1. Resorting to abuse. A real leftie response to those who disagree with their world view.

          Deaths from natural disasters have decreased dramatically since the 1920s.

          There are fewer cyclones.

          We don’t see the Greens practicing what they preach. James Shaw hasn’t discovered video-conferencing. He’s still clocking up the air travel.
          Some members are still having children.
          I can’t see an ’emergency’ response in their actions.

          In the meantime I’ll take a trip to the Pacific Islands (by air of course). That’ll probably do more to help them than the climate alarmists who’ll naturally stay at home.

        2. Wow Vance, your head is really stuck in the sand. I pity your ignorance. Fortunately for you, you’ll be long dead by the time these issues come to haunt your children.

  26. Vance,
    “Deaths from natural disasters have decreased dramatically since the 1920s.”

    That is not true anymore the number of people starving is rising and can only get worse as sea levels rise and weather patterns alter and although you don’t care every time you take a flight co2 rises and fuel supplies drop, on a finite planet over time both take us over the cliff.

  27. If you’re making a submission over the weekeend, I’ve just added an edit to the post, which I repeat here:

    “It’s also occurred to me as we approach the council election, that landlords getting to vote in each ward they own property in has a strong dampening effect on Council being able to respond appropriately to the climate emergency. This antiquated quirk of our Council voting rules is not democratic. One action the Climate Action Framework should also include is advocating to government for a change to the legislation.”

  28. I have been thinking a lot about climate change. Last week I climbed up to look at Tasman Lake at the foot of the Tasman Glacier. In 1990 it was nothing but a sink hole but now it is about 5km long due to the Tasman Glacier retreating which can only be caused by the climate being warmer.
    All of your ideas are great but at the same time a completely pointless effort. We need to figure out how to get the worlds major emitters to stop or reduce their emissions. It seems to me that Donald Trump has actually come up with the answer. We need a trade war. We need to boycott products from all countries that don’t sign up to the Paris Accord or who have signed up but don’t honour their commitment.
    Think about it, if everyone avoided US products wherever possible then the US would finally have an incentive to change. Same goes with Australia. Even better if we knew for sure that NZ wouldn’t be able to sell dairy or meat to other countries then my bet is the farm lobby in this country would suddenly get on board with green-house gas reductions too.
    Until we have a trade war we will continue with this ‘biggest cheater wins’ system which can only mean the climate will get worse.

    1. So many different scenarios I can envisage, miffy, and many of them would involve a trade war to some extent. The best scenarios would have this just on the fringes, with most countries instead managing to reach agreement on action. However, for either agreements or trade wars to be effective, the substance of the agreement or the disagreement still needs to be around meeting commitments. And that has to be based on reality; targets that are being met because real action is being taken or are proposed because they’re based on real-world evidence of what works.

      So the first step must still be taking action, with trials and programmes to reduce our emissions, so we can be wise about what works and what doesn’t. Otherwise it’s all just hot air (excuse the pun).

      I’d love your thoughts sometime about the even bigger picture, though, of the whole economic paradigm. The ‘biggest cheater wins’ problem has caused a whole lot more than just climate change. I’m calling for taking action even though I’m fully aware that the barrier isn’t climate denial but the fantasy of eternal economic growth, and a lack of political will to challenge that.

      1. Heidi the big success story is that much of the world has been lifted out of terrible poverty. That has been accompanied by a massive increase in energy use and some would say the increase in energy use was the means of lifting people from poverty. So not everything about market economies is bad, I think the good bits easily outweigh the bad. But to get any coordination on climate change means using the market system to set incentives. We really don’t want one world government or any of that shit but if we had a trading block that put punitive tariffs onto those countries that didn’t make a serious effort to reduce climate gases suddenly the corporate money that decides US policy would be working to get a government that would do the right thing. And watch how quick Fed Farmers would become advocates for reducing climate gases if their markets might start excluding them. It seems to me anything short of these type of trade rules means the Nash equilibrium is for every country to claim they care while doing nothing.
        As for unilaterally reducing our emissions, I think every kg of CO2 we avoid just allows the US to produce one more kg before they have to start caring.

    2. That’s been one of my theories for some time now.

      The way I see it “globalism” is essentially a means to exploit countries that have more relaxed labor and environmental laws.

      It all comes across as very hypocritical where people insist on things like a “living wage” but are all to happy to buy goods made by children working in hazardous conditions whilst being paid next to nothing.

      To a similar extent, we do feel good things like banning plastic bags or offshore gas exploration whilst happily importing goods made in factories where toxic runoff is directed directly into streams.

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