Saturday, June 15, 2024

Auckland rolls out transport emissions pathway

Auckland Council has revealed its vision for the city’s future transport landscape with the release of the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway.

The Pathway, which has been developed by Auckland Council and Auckland Transport (AT) in response to te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri Auckland’s Climate Plan, sets out Council’s plan to reduce its transport emissions by 64% by 2030.

Auckland Mayor, Phil Goff says the plan recognises that tackling climate change requires transformational rather than incremental change, and that all sectors have a role to play, including central and local government, business and industry, agriculture, NGOs, local communities, and individuals.

“Aucklanders understand and have told us that we have to move further and faster on climate change if we are to avoid an environmental disaster and create a sustainable future for our kids and grandkids,” said Mayor Goff.

“In Auckland, the biggest single source of carbon pollution is our transport system, which accounts for more than 40% of our region’s overall emissions.

“In a city where people once used to rely more on public transport, urban spawl and motorway development from the 1960s has locked in car dependency and resulted in Aucklanders driving much more than in many comparable cities overseas.”

The Pathway shows how Council can give transport choices back to Aucklanders, the Mayor said.

“As well as reducing carbon emissions, this change will make it easier and cheaper to get around the city for everyone. It will enhance regional productivity for those who do need to drive, such as tradespeople, freight operators and essential services, and will reduce congestion, helping to give back the average 80 hours a year that Aucklanders spend stuck in traffic,” he said.

“It will reduce our reliance on expensive, imported carbon fuels and our vulnerability to soaring fuel prices caused by constricted supply chains, such as is occurring now due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“It will also make our roads safer for all users, reduce pollution which currently contributes to the deaths of more than 3300 New Zealanders a year, and make Auckland a greener and healthier place to live, work and visit.

“Achieving the goals set out in the Pathway is essential if we are to meet our emissions reduction targets, but council can’t do it alone—it will require commitment and cooperation from all sectors. The Pathway lays out what is required. Now it is up to all of us to play our part.”

Actions required to achieve Auckland’s transport emissions targets by 2030 include:

  • making the majority of our local trips (under 6km) by sustainable modes;
  • converting 30% of the city’s vehicles to electric, especially commercial vehicles;
  • a 10-fold increase in active travel (walking and cycling);
  • a five-fold increase in the number of public transport trips taken – aided by a three-fold increase in the number of services on offer.

Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, Councillor Richard Hills says it’s important that Auckland Council and Auckland Transport support Aucklanders to make the necessary changes.

“By putting the infrastructure and public transport systems in place across the entire region, we can reduce Auckland’s long-standing over-reliance on cars by giving people more choice in how they travel,” said Cr Hills.

“By creating neighbourhoods that people want to be in, instead of drive through, and by ensuring the things we need are closer to the places we live, we can reduce the number of short trips we take by car.

“That’s what the Emissions Reduction Pathway is all about – it isn’t about taking cars and car parks away from people, it is about unlocking our roads for those who need them, it is about how we can improve our air quality so we can all live healthier lives and it’s about us spending more time with our families than stuck in traffic. Ultimately, it is about how we can, and will, create a more liveable Auckland.”

Some of the funding needed to implement the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway will come from the reallocation of existing budgets, Mayor Goff said. The plan’s implementation will also require additional funding from central and local government sources, he said.

You can read a summary of the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway here

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