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Climate change: mayor calls for action from cities





3 November 2006

Climate change – mayor calls for action from cities

Mayor of New Zealand’s biggest city, Dick Hubbard says cities must step up to the plate and play a key role in tackling climate change.

“We are definitely at the tipping point of this country’s history,” Mayor of Auckland City Dick Hubbard says in response to Sir Nicholas Stern’s hard-hitting report on climate change released recently in Britain.

“It is clear, even to the most sceptical amongst us, that the eminence and sheer numbers of scientific voices warning us of the impact of human actions on this earth must be taken seriously.”

“Charges of extremist scaremongering are unfounded,” he says, “Recent media reports make sobering reading and viewing.”

“I firmly believe we must take action. As Jim Kunstler, the American writer and critic, said at the Digital Earth Summit on Sustainability in Auckland recently, ‘it is up to us’.”

Currently Auckland City is:

- partnering to help fund the Energy Efficiency Advice Programme to help residents reduce energy use

- helping to fund the Snug Homes project to improve insulation in city houses

- participating in the Communities for Climate Protection programme to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases

- reviewing our vehicle fleet to maximise fuel efficiency and look at alternative vehicles

- working hard to encourage the appropriate authorities to provide much more frequent and efficient public transport.

Mayor Hubbard says that with half the world’s population living in an urban environment it is clear that cities play a key role in making practical changes.

“We have a responsibility as New Zealand’s biggest city, in a region where 30 per cent of the country’s population lives. Climate change and sustainable development can’t start and stop with central government.”

“The biggest runs on the board come from measures that local government is able to implement, measures that involve as much emphasis on carrots as on sticks.”
“I welcome government’s commitment to an increasing emphasis on sustainable development.”

He says for Auckland City this emphasis is particularly timely.

“My Mayoral Taskforce on Sustainable Development is working hard to tackle the issue locally by working on the most effective measures that will make a real difference. They will report to me at the end of the year.”

“We are taking these issues very seriously. This is, without doubt, the biggest challenge of our times.”


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