Auckland needs to decarbonise its transport by 2030 to keep temperatures within 1.5°C. We need your voice to help us show our leaders that we will hold them accountable to keeping their commitments and duties under the Zero Carbon Act and Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri (Auckland's Climate Plan). Scroll down to sign our open letter.
This open letter crafted by Generation Zero, Lawyers for Climate Action, Bike Auckland, Greater Auckland, The 1point5 Project and Women in Urbanism will be accompanied by a technical document further breaking down the actions needed to achieve this ambitious goal of decarbonising transport by 2030.
OUR OPEN LETTER:
To the Minister of Transport, the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Transport, the Mayor, Chief Executive and Councillors of Auckland Council, and the Boards of Directors and Chief Executives of Waka Kotahi/NZTA and Auckland Transport.
DECARBONISE AUCKLAND’S TRANSPORT BY 2030
Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to the goal of keeping global warming to less than 1.5°C under the Paris Agreement. This now has legislative status under the Climate Change Response Act 2002 (Zero Carbon Act). Auckland Council has also separately committed to the 1.5°C goal.
The best way that we can achieve this is to largely de-carbonise transport by 2030. This means that Tāmaki Makaurau (Auckland) must dramatically reduce vehicle kilometres travelled. In 9 years we must have delivered a compact city and shifted towards active and public transport in addition to having largely decarbonised the vehicle fleet. This requires transforming transport’s planning and funding model at the national and local level.
You are the key decision-makers and have the collective power to achieve this change. In effect, your decisions will determine whether New Zealand and Auckland can meet their 1.5°C commitments or not. You are morally and legally obliged to take action consistent with these commitments.
Specifically, we urge you to deliver these actions by 2030:
- Reduce traffic volumes by putting vehicle travel reduction at the core of travel demand management and using every lever available. This includes urban planning, evaluation methods and investment, regulation, enforcement, pricing regimes (including fares and parking levies), and travel plans for institutions.
- Prioritise active and public transport modes and de-prioritise the personal automobile in system design, operation, investment and space allocation. Swiftly reallocate road corridors to focus on walking, cycling, public transport and liveable, tree-lined public spaces. Implement low traffic neighbourhoods throughout the city. Complete the congestion free network. Improve the customer experience of every aspect of active and public transport.
- Reduce and decarbonise the vehicle fleet. Use appropriate registration charges, emissions regulations and low emissions zones to encourage a reduction in car ownership and an increase in the adoption of low and no emissions vehicles. Swiftly electrify bus and local government vehicle fleets.
- Improve proximity to reduce trip distances by delivering on a genuine compact city strategy. Stop the release of rural land for development, unwind the greenfields growth programmes, and shift all funding from new roading and growth infrastructure in new urban areas to supporting regenerative intensification of brownfields areas.
- Make all transport decisions with a climate and equity lens and ensure marginalised groups benefit. Work swiftly to ensure benefits are realised and perceived quickly by removing barriers to change. Streamline consultation by addressing our objectives for decarbonising transport at a city-wide level, followed by local consultation that improves rather than delays projects.
- Uphold the articles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, actively engage with Māori, and ensure that policies to decarbonise transport benefit Tangata Whenua.
We recognise that these are decisions that you, as our leaders, have the power to make to ensure Aucklanders have attractive and sustainable transport choices.
Time is fleeting for Auckland to achieve this ambitious goal of decarbonising transport by 2030. We need decisions to be made now. If you choose inaction, you are in fact taking direct action to create an unsustainable future in which our children face severe environmental degradation and exponentially rising costs. To sit by and ignore the need to decarbonise transport is a conscious choice and one that will contradict commitments under Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri (Auckland's Climate Plan) and the Zero Carbon Act.
We look to your leadership to ensure you implement your commitments and stand by your duties and responsibilities to all Aucklanders.
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