Lawyers calling for action against climate change claim the Auckland Council’s draft transportation plan is illegal as it goes against the council’s own commitment to reducing climate emissions.
The regional land transport plan (RLTP) is intended to encourage a move away from private cars to public transport, hiking and cycling and is expected to significantly increase the number of trips using public transport.
It’s based on a $ 28 billion package for 2018, but now includes $ 600 million more for walking and cycling initiatives and $ 500 million more for buses and ferries.
However, the umbrella organization All Aboard Aotearoa said the plan will allow traffic emissions to increase by 2030 in its current form.
The group was ready to challenge the matter in court unless the council radically revised it.
Climate Action attorney Jenny Cooper QC said although the group has not yet taken the advice to court, it is fair to plan legal action.
“We think it’s very important … to be really clear about the legal obligations that result from this [Auckland Transport] and the council are. All we’re doing right now is ask them to comply with their legal obligations, “Cooper said.
Generation Zero activist and advocate Dewy Sacayan said the plan’s overarching commitment is to cut emissions over the next nine years so “we have a chance to keep global temperatures within 1.5 ° C.” “.
“We definitely need to reduce the number of cars on the road and increase our investment in public and active transport. We also need to prioritize the Auckland Cycling Network and focus on how we can.” Have adequate spatial planning so that people live close to where they need to go, “Sacayan said.
Cooper said the central government needs to be targeted alongside the local government.
“We are also focusing on the decisions that are made at this level. Everyone aboard Aotearoa has already filed a judicial review of the government’s decision to fund the Mill Road project. We say this decision is illegal,” she said.
“If the unlawful government decisions cannot warrant further unlawful decisions by AT and the local government, a thorough traffic planning review needs to be undertaken at all levels of government.”
When the package launched in March, Transportation Secretary Michael Wood said the RLTP would help address the government’s climate responsibility.
“For the first time we are turning to the rising transport emissions in Auckland. The ATAP 2021-31 package alone would lead to this [in] The per capita emissions are reduced by around 13 percent compared to the previous package. Public transport journeys are expected to increase 91 percent, “said Wood.
“In addition to our recently announced measures to reduce traffic emissions, ATAP could help reduce up to 3.3 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in Auckland over the next decade. This is a good first step, but we know we are doing more have to.”