Auckland: Collective Action Spurs Emissions Reductions

Launched in 2014, Low Carbon Auckland was developed in partnership with more than 150 stakeholders in order to deliver on the city’s target to reduce CO2 emissions by 40% in 2040, while securing access to clean, efficient, and affordable energy. Based on innovative engagement and co-governance arrangements with industry, NGOs, youth, knowledge institutions, and Māori, more than 100 actions have been outlined across five areas of transformation: travel; energy use and generation; the built environment and infrastructure; zero waste; and forestry, agriculture, and natural carbon assets. So far, actions include the roll out of electric trains, expansion of the city’s cycle network, sustainable design standards for buildings, and a city-wide organic waste collection scheme, owned by different stakeholders.

5.3 million metric tons CO2 reduced by 2040 based on 1990 levels


The plan is based on global best practices, aiming to keep energy prices low, and including an emissions inventory developed using the Global Protocol for Community-Scale Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories (GPC). As the country’s first regional climate action plan, it was designed to draw on existing programs, revealing the benefits of climate actions to encourage people to move further and faster in reducing emissions.

The challenge

Projections indicate that without intervention Auckland’s greenhouse gas emissions could increase by 46% by 2025 and energy use by 65% by 2040. Low Carbon Auckland was launched by the city in an effort to address these challenges, accelerate collective climate action, and decouple urban growth and environmental impacts.

2016_ClimateAction_Auckland2Low Carbon Auckland will expand the city's network of bicycle paths.


Economic The installation of 40,000 LED streetlights is predicted to save between $32.4 million and $35.7 million over 20 years.

Environmental The Low Carbon Auckland plan has a goal to create a city within a forest, aiming to increase carbon sequestration levels by 50% by 2040.

Health The expansion of the cycling network provides more opportunities for exercise, aiming to reduce health issues related to inactivity, particularly among Māori and Pacific children.

Social A key component of the plan is securing sustained access to clean, efficient, and affordable energy for all by maintaining electricity prices at 2012 levels.

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