Climate change: Auckland councillors vote to cut transport emissions by 64%
Auckland councillors have voted clearly in favour of a plan that will significantly change how they move around the city over the next eight years in a bid to meet greenhouse gas reduction targets. Three councillors voted against adopting the Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway (TERP) which outlines in detail what will need to be done to deliver Auckands pledge to halve carbon emissions by 2030 requiring transport emissions to fall by 64%. Key elements include halving the distance driven in the city, with 32% of the fleet electric vehicles, a nine-fold increase in public transport use from current levels, and a 17-fold increase in the share of trips made on foot, cycles or scooters. Officials said TERP was technically doable, and while not separately costed, the mayor Phil Goff said climate funding from the council and government, along with re-prioritising planned spend would be needed. READ MORE: * Auckland mayoralty: Candidates split on transport emissions cut plan * Climate change: Aucklanders need to halve their driving to reach emissions goal * Climate change: The first few steps are crucial on road to cutting carbon emissions The chair of the Environment and Climate Change committee Richard Hills said the strategy is not about the stick approach, its about giving people options to driving. We are elected to show leadership, and we should show that, said Goff, who retires in October. Council officials said TERP was not one pathway chosen from options, but was the only option to achieve the reductions required. It requires every single lever to be pulled to the absolute maximum, there isnt another pathway, said Jacques Victor, strategy and research general manager. The wide-ranging strategy will affect almost all transport decisions to be made by the council and its agency Auckland Transport (AT). AT will over the next six months devise an implementation plan, and start providing indications of what TERP will cost, but a climate-focussed transport programme is already underway and will continue. The youth climate lobby Generation Zero told councillors ahead of the vote, that TERP was a pathway the city could be proud of, and was critical to young people. Auckland is becoming a more challenging and unfeasible place to live, especially for young people, said Heeringa, who noted the young were not represented on council. If it fails to be adopted, youth in Auckland will be further disenfranchised, he said. Several councillors spoke of the biggest challenge ahead being the job of getting Aucklanders onside, and understanding why changes were necessary in their lives and how they got around. Councillor Josephine Bartley said she had driven to Thursdays council meeting in a 4WD vehicle, after the trains were delayed. She said she had alternatives, but many people dont. There are people who are scared of what this means, people who need their cars because of their kids its not meant to scare people, its for people who can get out of their cars, to do so people like myself, she said. Of 21 councillors and members of the Independent Maori Statutory Board on the committee, councillors Daniel Newman, Greg Sayers and Sharon Stewart voted against the clause which adopted the plan.