Council tackles climate change
A snapshot of Auckland Council’s response to climate change has been released.
With rising sea levels, air temperatures and rainfall, Auckland Council has taken a number of measures to prepare the city for the impacts of climate change.
In December 2015 Auckland joined C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a global network of cities tackling climate change, at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Paris (COP21).
Last week council released an overview of its preparation, which included addressing coastal erosion, planting trees, enforced green standards for new buildings, intensifying pest management, and harsher building consents.
Auckland also had its plan Low Carbon Auckland, which set out a 30-year pathway and a 10-year plan to transform Auckland into a greener, low carbon city using sustainable resources.
Worldwide, city councils’ responses to climate change has become more overt in the last few months. In June 250 mayors in the United States backed a commitment for US cities to run on renewable resources by 2035.
In July 35 Australian city councils pledged to switch to renewable energy, build sustainable transport, and develop greener, efficient and more climate-resilient communities.
Auckland Council’s internal report outlined its work on managing changing coastlines. Council was also dealing with 90 recent coastal slips, from minor slips to large sections of cliff faces, which had already cost more than $600,000 in repairs.
Council was reviewing its regional pest management plan to ensure it included managing new and emerging pests whose biosecurity risks and impacts would increase under climate change.
The report outlined that pests and diseases like Myrtle Rust or kauri dieback were expected to become more virulent because they thrived in higher temperatures.
Auckland Council controlled operations were also looking forward. For example, Watercare’s $1 billion underground sewage tunnel, the central interceptor project, had adopted a design that allowed for a 25 per cent increase in rainfall and sea levels.