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Auckland Council votes on climate emergency declaration

Tuesday 11 June

The Auckland Council will vote on whether to declare a climate emergency today.


The council will decide after 9:30 am at Reception Lounge, Level 2, Auckland Town Hall, 301 Queen Street.


The motion follows a request by the Auckland branch of Extinction Rebellion (XR), a new non-violent civil disobedience group. [1]


Spokesperson Cordelia Lockett says a yes vote will demonstrate the council's commitment to resolving the climate crisis.


"Last year the UN warned we only had 12 years to save the planet we know and love from climate breakdown," she says. "Their latest report says if we don't act soon, one million species face extinction, undermining the life support systems we all rely upon."


"The council needs to tell the truth and create a citizen's panel to ensure the climate crisis is at the heart of everything we do in Auckland,” she says. "Our only hope is to mobilise society as we did during World War II and to put in place short-term binding zero emission targets."


Council data shows the city's emissions will increase by 30 per cent by 2050 on current trajectories, she says.


Lockert says 594 councils and governments have declared a climate emergency worldwide.


That includes the UK, Irish and Welsh parliaments, she says.


Canterbury was the first council in New Zealand to declare a climate emergency in May 2019.


Nelson followed hours later, with Kāpiti Coast, and the Waitakere and Waitemata Auckland local boards declaring soon after.


[1] Auckland Council Environment and Community Committee Agenda (Tuesday 6 June), Agenda Item 9, c6. Available at: http://infocouncil.aucklandcouncil.govt.nz/Open/2019/06/ENV_20190611_AGN_6851_AT_WEB.htm [Last accessed on 6 June 2019]

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