Auckland Council latest council to declare climate change emergency

Newsalk ZB ,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 11 June 2019, 6:57PM
Phil Goff says that symbolic moves are all well and good, but they have to be backed up. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Auckland Council is taking urgent action to tackle climate change in an attempt to reduce carbon emissions and limit rising temperatures.

The council's environment and community committee unanimously voted today to declare a climate emergency and make climate change a priority in all its decision-making.

Recent research revealed Auckland's mean temperature was rising, rainfall patterns were changing and the coastlines were being affected by the rising sea level.

The effects of climate change were expected to get more serious over time, according to the research.

The council was also committed to making sure the temperature did not rise more than 1.5C.

Auckland mayor Phil Goff said action needed to be taken urgently to ensure future generations would not inherit a world devastated by global heating.

"Scientists tell us that if we don't take action, the effects of heating will be environmentally and economically catastrophic.

"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."

He told Heather du Plessis-Allan that he is not interested in making purely symbolic actions without backing them up, but there are a whole series of things they will be doing.

"We will have a specific action plan that needs to be costed." Goff says that a big focus of this will be continuing to push for electrification of public transport and encouraging the government to import more electric-cars.

He says that the declaration is a recognition of the urgency of the problem, and that if we do not do anything, then it will cost us more in the long turn.

As part of its commitment to reducing climate change, the council would continue to make climate change a key part of its programmes and decisions. This included putting climate change impact statements on all council committee reports.

It would also continue to advocate for greater central government leadership and lead examples in monitoring and reducing the council's greenhouse gas emissions.

Committee chair councillor Penny Hulse said the move signalled the importance of an immediate national and global response to addressing climate change.

Hulse said it was also a direct response to a range of residents and group who asked the council to improve the health of the environment and water and to do more to target climate change.

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