We’re already feeling the effects – like severe storm events and flooding impacts – and they’re getting worse.
What we can expect
- Higher temperatures.
- Sea level rise.
- Changes to rainfall patterns.
So what do we need to do?
1. Reduce our emissions
We have committed to limiting the average temperature rise to less than 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.
This requires us to halve our emissions by 2030, and for us to be net zero emissions by 2050.
Even at 1.5 degrees temperature rise the impact on our environment will be significant. The longer we wait, the harder it will be to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
2. Prepare for climate change impacts
The world’s current trajectory could see a 3.5 degree increase in average temperatures by 2120.
We therefore need to prepare by building resilient infrastructure, communities and preparing our economy.
3. Tailor our approach
Auckland is unique.
Our approach to climate action is strengthened through diversity and indigenous knowledge, with Māori cultural values and practices underpinning our actions for the benefit of all.
By taking a holistic and equitable approach we can deliver better outcomes for Auckland.
We need to act
This means all of us – Auckland Council, government, mana whenua, mataawaka, businesses, communities and individuals.
We are finalising Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Framework, which is our blueprint to a zero-carbon, climate-resilient Auckland.
Where do we need to focus our efforts?
Transport emissions account for 44 per cent of Auckland’s total emissions.
We need to increase walking and cycling and provide accessible and affordable transport options.
We also need to support a fair transition to zero emission travel.
We need to work across sectors to support energy efficiency, more distributed and renewable energy supplies and low carbon heat solutions.
We need to change our everyday choices about what we eat, buy and how we travel.
The consumption carbon footprint of the average Aucklander is around 13.5 tonnes per year.
We need to reduce this to around 5.9 tonnes by 2030.
Auckland has low rates of recycling and reuse of waste (35 per cent) compared to world leading cities.
We need to support Auckland to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.
Planning and development
Past land-use and planning decisions have led to a car-dependent and emissions-intensive Auckland.
We need to ensure our policies and the way we grow supports our climate goals.
We need to grow and protect our rural and urban forests to capture and store more carbon.
Water supply will become a bigger issue as Auckland’s population increases and rainfall patterns change.
We need to consider alternative water supply options and increase the resilience of our water system.
Building resilient communities
We need to work with our communities and support them in developing the skills, knowledge and capacity to respond to climate change.
Building a resilient economy
Businesses and their supply chains will be disrupted by climate events and consumer behaviour and demand will change. Food supply will also be affected by changing weather, pests and disease.
We need to focus on building resilience as we transition to a zero emissions economy.
Advocacy and partnership
We need to strongly advocate to government and business to play their part in building resilient communities and introducing nationwide policy to limit rising temperatures.
Māori connection to natural environments, through their role as kaitiaki, will be significantly affected by climate change.
Much of our existing infrastructure was not designed to cope with increasingly extreme weather events, sea level rise or increased flooding.
We need to adapt physical assets that are at risk, expand green networks, improve water management and grow our urban and rural ngahere (forest).
Auckland has 3200km of coastline. Climate change will increase the risk of erosion, storms and flooding.
We need to work with communities to plan for and manage the impacts.
A healthy natural environment is essential to our economy and society and 20 per cent of our birds, reptiles and plants are under threat.
We need to restore and enhance our natural environment.
Our focus for 2020/2021
Auckland Council has declared a climate emergency, and climate change will be a key issue for our next 10-year Budget 2021-2031.
In the meantime we need to continue to act.
Over the next year, we plan to invest $900,000 on foundation work for climate change actions.
- developing climate assessment tools (emissions assessment for projects and climate change risk assessment)
- reviewing the Auckland Unitary Plan from a climate perspective
- embedding a natural hazard risk assessment and integrating data
- understanding the likely economic impacts of climate change
- understanding the Māori world view on climate change led by the Mana Whenua Kaitiaki Forum
- focusing on communications and tools to embed behaviour change.
Over the next five years, we plan to reduce Auckland Council’s emissions by nearly 20 per cent by:
- reducing our fleet size and moving to electric vehicles, investing $6.3 million over the next five years to do this
- phasing out gas boilers in our aquatic centres, at a cost of $9 million over the next five years (with $1.5 million being spent in 2020/2021).
Across Auckland we will:
- plant 1.5 million trees over the next three years (an additional 500,000 over what was planned at a cost of $2.7 million)
- continue to progress our coastal protection as part of the $90 million programme agreed in the 10-year Budget 2018-2028, while planning for adapting to long-term changes in our coastline.
More information about our work on climate change
For more information, read our Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Action Framework.