Element - - Climate Change -

In Paris, I am join­ing with may­ors from more than 200 other cities to share our ex­pe­ri­ences and look for new so­lu­tions to cli­mate change.

I ex­pect that th­ese dis­cus­sions will help us to fur­ther ad­vance Auck­land’s ac­tion. We want to be on the cut­ting edge of so­lu­tions, in­no­va­tion and far-reach­ing ben­e­fits of act­ing on cli­mate change now.

Ac­tion at both na­tional and lo­cal lev­els will bring a bet­ter qual­ity of life for Auck­lan­ders while im­prov­ing New Zealand’s po­si­tion as an in­ter­na­tional leader.

Cities are key play­ers in the re­sponse to cli­mate change, glob­ally and in New Zealand.

The Global Com­mis­sion on Econ­omy and Cli­mate Change es­ti­mates that putting the ef­fort into cities, with bet­ter pub­lic trans­port, green build­ings, and bet­ter waste man­age­ment, could save US$22tn by 2050 and avoid the equiv­a­lent green­house gas emis­sions of In­dia ev­ery year.

The time for doubt is over. We know that we are con­tribut­ing dan­ger­ous lev­els of car­bon to our at­mos­phere.

We know the con­se­quences of in­ac­tion. For Auck­land, cli­mate change will lead to more se­vere storms, flood­ing and sea level rise, not to men­tion wider eco­nomic and so­cial chal­lenges.

We are all too aware of the chal­lenges of shoring up in­fra­struc­ture and man­ag­ing in­sur­ance costs, as well as the im­pacts on bio­di­ver­sity, pro­duc­tiv­ity, and com­mu­ni­ties.

Auck­land has an am­bi­tious tar­get of re­duc­ing green­house gas emis­sions in Auck­land by 40 per cent by 2040.

Bet­ter trans­port op­tions, clean air, green spa­ces and en­ergy ef­fi­cient build­ings all help re­duce emis­sions while making for a bet­ter qual­ity of life for the peo­ple who live here to­day.

Auck­land’s pub­lic trans­port pa­tron­age is grow­ing at un­prece­dented lev­els.

Elec­tri­fi­ca­tion of the trains has re­moved one per cent of Auck­land’s GHG emis­sions.

New paths al­low Auck­lan­ders to ride and walk more con­ve­niently and safely while re­duc­ing their car­bon foot­print.

New in­fra­struc­ture is be­ing built to be cli­mate-ready. We are al­ready mov­ing in the right di­rec­tion. Now is the time to ac­cel­er­ate.

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