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UN report confirms urgent need for climate action — Goff

The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), published on April 4, confirms once again that urgent action is needed to reduce carbon emissions if the world is to have a chance to avert climate catastrophe, said Auckland Mayor Phil Goff.

“The IPCC is clear that we are running out of time to reduce our emissions before we hit our global warming limit of 1.5 degrees. It’s now or never,” Goff says.

“Scientists say global emissions are set to drop by 45% this decade, yet the world is on track to increase emissions by 14%.

“We are already seeing the dire effects of climate change, with increasingly severe flooding, heat waves and unprecedented drought already affecting Auckland and New Zealand.

“The destruction caused by climate change will only get worse if we don’t act. If we don’t reduce emissions now, our children and grandchildren will grow up in a world ravaged by environmental damage, species extinction, deadly storms and fires, and rising sea levels.

“However, it is not too late to act, and Auckland have a role to play. Auckland Council has proposed a Target Climate Action Rate which, together with government funding, will enable $1 billion investment in climate action across Auckland. This will reduce emissions, decarbonise our ferry fleet, improve public transport, walking and cycling, and increase forest cover in the region.

“The Climate Action Target Rate will cost about $1.12 a week for median-value residential property, which is now worth more than $1 million. While it alone will not solve all of our climate challenges, it will enable us to lay the foundations for the urgent changes we need to make to avert climate catastrophe.

“These changes will help us avoid the worst impacts of climate change, while improving our transport system, greening our city and making Auckland a more sustainable and equitable place to live, work and visit.”

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Auckland Council consulted on the climate action target rate as part of its consultation on the 2022/23 annual budget, which closed on March 28. The Board will now consider feedback, deliberate and make decisions for the final annual budget, with a final decision expected at the end of June.