Source: Auckland Council
Auckland Council’s commitment to climate leadership has been recognised by a committee of mayors from around the globe, with the renewal of its C40 Innovator City membership status last month.
C40 is a climate leadership group comprised of 97 major cities focused on supporting mayors and cities to tackle the climate crisis. Cities are required to reapply for membership every three years, with renewal of membership earned through demonstrable climate action instead of membership fees.
Auckland’s application to renew its membership was assessed by the C40 Steering Committee of mayors based on an evaluation of Auckland Council’s climate ambition, contribution to global climate action, and engagement in C40.
Mayor Phil Goff says the successful application is a welcome acknowledgement of the work undertaken by the council group to cut carbon emissions and lift its investment in climate action.
“In the last two terms of council we’ve made progress to meet the challenges posed by climate change, planting millions of native trees, investing billions in public transport infrastructure, stopping the purchase of diesel buses, and delivering a $152 million climate package in last year’s Recovery Budget.
“But we know we need to do much more. A progress report released last year on Auckland’s emissions outlined the scale of the challenge: we are not remotely tracking in line with our target of a 50 percent reduction by 2030.
“We need to urgently increase our commitment if we are to have any chance of averting a climate disaster that will severely impact kids and grandkids.
“Alongside our continued work with C40, we are asking Aucklanders to have their say on our proposal for a Climate Action Targeted Rate (CATR). The CATR aims to add weight, meaning and mana to the Climate Emergency declaration unanimously supported by councillors in 2019 by delivering an ambitious billion-dollar climate action package to reduce carbon emissions and deliver more buses, ferries, cycling and walking and urban tree canopy.
“The climate package would be funded by a targeted rate of around $1.12 a week for the owner of a median-value residential property (now worth over $1 million). This rate will raise around $574 million over 10 years and seek to unlock a further $471 million through central government co-funding and other sources. A relatively modest cost for each of us, the CATR will enable major new investments in climate action to ensure that future generations inherit a positive legacy.”
Chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee, Councillor Richard Hills, says there has never been a more important time for Aucklanders to have their say on the council’s budget and its plans to tackle the climate crisis.
“In surveys, polls and in public consultation, Aucklanders have consistently told us they want stronger and faster action on climate to ensure our city lives up to its climate obligations.
“This proposal sets out our plan to accelerate climate action in Tāmaki Makaurau. Now we need to know what Aucklanders think. Public consultation is open now and I encourage you to make your voice heard.”
Have your say
Feedback can be provided online, via email, by phone, post and at Have Your Say events so Aucklanders are encouraged to get involved and make their voices heard. Visit akhaveyoursay.co.nz to find out more and have your say by 28 March.
After decisions are made in June 2022 the final budget will be available on aucklandcouncil.govt.nz.