Welcome to another fantastic Auckland Conversations event. We’re really excited to have you with us this evening, especially given the weather outside; so thank you for that. And those watching at home, we’re equally grateful you're with us tonight. A special welcome to our political leadership, Mayor Phil Goff, councillors, local board members; as well as our esteemed panelists, C40 City staff, guests from the World Resources Institute, and City staff from a dozen C40 cities around the world. And happy International Women’s Day today, as well; for a better, more inclusive gender equal world. Hi, my name is John Morrow and I'm Auckland Council’s Chief Sustainability Officer. And before we dive into things, buckle your seatbelts; we’ve got a high-profile panel this evening, representing business, central government, local government, and civil society. We’ll also hear from Mayor Phil Goff, and Councillor Chris Darby.
More about that in a bit, but before we take off, I am the guy who does the pre-flight briefing; you can insert your Rhys Darby joke here I suppose. In the unlikely event of an emergency an alarm will sound and you will be ushered out of the building by our very capable ushers. Give a wave ushers so we know where you are. Excellent, there’s some back there and some back there. Bathrooms are situated near the bar area or perhaps more importantly for some the bar is situated near the bathrooms out back. Auckland Conversations endeavours to ensure that these events are inclusive and accessible; so you’ll actually see this up online a matter of a few days after this event; so look for that as well. You can turn all your mobile phones to silent; look I’ll demonstrate that – there we go. And of course the Twitter frenzy can begin this evening.
It's actually supremely silent when you tweet so that’s quite helpful. I will be issuing penalties for those who use phrases on Twitter like sad of bigly; so be aware of that as well. It's my shameful American roots. And you can use #Auckland Conversations which you might be seeing up on the screen quite soon. We’ll try to take a few questions from Twitter during the Q&A but you can actually also use your voice; so feel free to do that. So let's get our social media on as I want to do. I’m going to take a fantastic picture of you. Alright, ready to make our climate great again; fantastic. So we will be acknowledging our sponsors. Thank you for the partner sponsor Resene; also thanks to our programme supporters Brookfield Lawyers, Boffa Miskell; Architectural Designers New Zealand; New Zealand Institute of Architects; New Zealand Planning Institute and the New Zealand Green Building Council. Let's give them a hand for making this event and all Auckland Conversations possible. Now let's get down to business. A letter and a number. C and 40.
What is this all about and what could it mean for you and for Auckland? Well C40 is a strategic network of leading cities, 90 cities to be exact and their cities and their leaders act locally and collaboratively to have a meaningful impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and climate risks. These cities represent 25 percent of global GEP; they include London, New York, Paris, Tokyo and a number of those are in the audience right now. [00:03:02] C40 in this group of cities are smart, they are savvy and they’re serious; and to quote one of the panellists coming up, Councillor Penny Hulse; these are serious cities who are serious about climate change. So Auckland, what does C40 and how can it help us where we want to go? Two basic things; (1) is we get free kit, sorry to be so crude about it folks, but we get free kit. We get technical assistance, research data, best practice, benchmarking and reporting and this is stuff we don’t have to reinvent; so we’re getting this from them, it saves us the cost and the time of doing it ourselves. And of course who doesn’t like a little bit of competition.
World leading examples like this push the boundaries and motivate us for all of this. It's also an opportunity for us to tell our story on the global stage about how we’re taking practical actions to reduce our impact and climate change and mitigate and adapt to its impacts. What do want to be famous for? There we go, I figured out the slide situation. So let's step back and get this right. The value proposition actually is quite simple. It's not about climate and sustainability in the sort of abstract airy-fairy sense. It's about being smarter, about what’s coming our way, it's about being more strategic about how we anticipate and respond to that and it's being absolutely insistent that in many ways we don’t actually have to make significant trade-offs if we’re clever enough. More practically it's not tangential to sticking to our knitting; it actually is our knitting. All this stuff that we’re doing through these networks – transport, waste, water, urban planning, economic development – these are the functions of a successful city. There’s also strong evidence that you dear Aucklanders broadly support and deeply value this; that there are co-benefits that are tangible, inevitable and even irresistible.
A survey of about 1000 Aucklanders demonstrated about 70 to 80 percent want to focus on living a simple healthy sustainable lifestyle and by almost all measures Aucklanders are currently asking for more transport and more housing choice. Like that. Furthermore it's widely understood that not action to reduce and prepare for climate impacts may result in significant costs to council and ratepayers, putting us at significant risk now and into the future. So what are we doing? Briefly, council and CCOs are building cycle ways, we’re reducing energy use, we’re planting trees, we’re procuring more sustainably; we’re closing the loop on waste, we’re regenerating urban areas and hey we’re building CRL. I suspect that we’ll hear a bit more about that from Mayor Goff in a few moments. But you could also check out our low carbon Auckland implementation; it's in the back – a document – of what we’ve been up to in the last 12 months. So where’s business? besides being on this panel as well this evening. Many of the business leaders are out front taking and demonstrating action and climate and actually bringing their customers and their employees on the journey. They’re helping to spur economic growth, they’re driving down emissions and they’re bringing their customers these wide benefits.
Even as populations grow you don’t have to pay attention to the words in that slide but you’re seeing a change in CO2 down, you’re seeing a change in GDP up. Community groups are showcasing the power of the local. On Monday we were hosted by Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei We saw first-hand the inspiring host of renewable energy zero waste reforestation sustainable housing design solutions. Pai mahi Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei. Central Government has made the ultimate commitment; joining the world and crafting, agreeing to and ratifying the Paris agreement. They might not have started the party but now they are hosting. So what’s the big deal? Not sure how to break it to you here but were not quite there yet. This report that you see on the screen done by C40 and ARUP concludes that the next four years are paramount to ensuring that we’re back on track to avoid dangerous climate change. The research finds that C40 cities can deliver big emission reductions and if other cities follow suit, actions in our urban areas can deliver about 40 percent of the Paris agreement; almost half can be done locally.
You can read more about his in the Auckland Sustainability Quarterly in the back as well. It focuses on cities and climate. We’ll need still a collaborative approach however, with all sectors including central government to meet our international commitments but the power’s in our hands locally to act now and to reap the rewards. So what’s this report mean for Auckland? Well again, sorry to break it to you, but it really means that per capita emissions must drop and actually must drop quickly. We’re among a small group of C40 cities that actually are steep decline cities; you’ll see a red arrow that says “That’s our trajectory, we need to act right now and actually get to virtually no emissions by 2035.” So what does that look like? Well roughly this is what I would propose. Why can’t we simply commit to unchaining ourselves from physical and financial burden of auto ownership and car dependence? We could accelerate our promising collaboration with central government on the Auckland Transport Alignment Project. Why can’t we consistently and indefinitely invest the vast majority in our transport CAPEX into walking, cycling and public transport? Why can’t we simply commit to quality urban regeneration, density done well Can’t we put the argument to bed for good that we just need to fix our housing supply issue with more land availability? And can’t we make every new council building a green building with great energy performance, onsite harvesting of water and solar energy and zero waste to landfill? Why can’t we work beyond our own portfolio to build homes that are healthy for our kids so no kid fails to be able to go to school because she’s got asthma? And why can’t we design with nature phasing our traditional infrastructure, making innovative green infrastructure the only real way we treat stormwater, deal with coastal erosion and adapt to climate change; all the while saving quite a bit of ratepayer money.
And I guess why can’t we make our city more inclusive, more enjoyable, more playful, even more fun? Why can’t we? I guess I haven’t heard any reasons why yet; I’m sure they exist. But let's commit to a way of finding a bolder way of moving to get more ambitious; to get going on making it happen. I think our city, I think you all and our future residents are depending on us to do exactly that. So let's dive in. The format for tonight is a discussion with our panellists. I will introduce each of them and in turn we’ll kind of give them an opening question and we’ll get the conversation started with some follow-ups open floor questions etc. The goal here is actually that every single one of us leaves a tiny bit smarter and a tiny bit more engaged in this most critical issue.
But before we get there I would like to bring Mayor Phil Goff to the stage. Could you give him a round of applause please? [Applause] [Māori greeting] and a particular welcome to our visitors from abroad, those that have come for the C40 meeting and a particular welcome back to New Zealand to Milag San Jose- Ballesteros our Regional Director. Can I acknowledge also our panelists Malcolm Shield climate policy manager from the city of Vancouver; there’s a lot we can learn from Vancouver and I’m looking forward to that; Pedi Nelson our deputy secretary strategy Ministry for the Environment; Ian Short the former chief executive Climate KIC; and councillor Penny Hulse who’s chair of our environment and community committee. Could I also acknowledge Chris Darby and Councillor Wayne Walker from our council and I know we have some people… I saw Penny Combe before from our local boards. It's good to see such a turnout tonight to discuss what I believe is one of the most pressing issues facing humanity.
You know for years I’ve been involved in the anti-nuclear movement and I always used to follow the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and their doomsday clock as the hand moved closer towards the devastation of the world through nuclear destruction. A couple of years ago that group saw fit to add climate change to their area of focus. A nuclear devastation will destroy us immediately. A failure to respond to climate change will destroy us over time. Neither is a good option and there has to be growing urgency in our efforts to limit the rise in global temperature and to adapt to the changes that sadly are already inevitable. As a nation we joined with the efforts in Paris to reduce emissions and to keep the global temperature rise well below two degrees.
Here in New Zealand Auckland is our largest city; it's 35 percent of the country’s population and GDP but it's 50 to 60 percent of the country’s growth. Auckland has a responsibility to lead the way on climate change. Every week our city grows by another 900 residents and adding to that we increase our new car fleet by another 800 cars on the road. At current growth rates we’ll have another half a million people here by just over a decade’s time. Reducing our emissions while we are growing at this pace is going to be difficult and if we look at the reality of it from 2009 to 2014 gross emissions increased by 1.8 percent and that’s not good enough. We have to meet the challenge of reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. But there are some good things that I think are on the horizon. Last year the council introduced I think with some degree of courage a new unitary plan for Auckland which allows for more intensive development, 70 percent of the development of our city, within the urban borders and gives a platform to reduce urban sprawl and constantly growing vehicle emissions.
Intensification will occur under this plan and it’ll occur around our transport hubs, around our arterial routes, around our town centres. And with that we will be focusing on more and better public transport. At the moment our buses do the heavy lifting with 84 million passenger trips per year and we need more bus ways like the North Shore bus way. When we introduced that some years ago people said “They’ll never come from the North Shore by bus, they’re affluent people.” In the last year 54 percent of people coming from the Shore to the CBD in peak hour travelled by bus ahead of private transport. It's a sign of what we can achieve, yet still when we put in the North Western Motorway we did not put a dedicated bus way in the original planning. We need to learn from that.
We’re also constructing another 19kms of bus lanes this year and electric buses will be trialled this year and that will make a huge difference, because while I’m totally in favour of buses, sitting on my motorbike behind a diesel belching bus is not a great look for our city. We’re also looking at the uptake of electric vehicles and support the government plan to lift that to a target of 64,000 by 2021. I currently drive a Toyota Prius Hybrid but tonight I took delivery of a fully electric vehicle on a trial basis. I’m looking forward to leading the way by example. We’ve replaced the big petrol guzzling V6 that the mayor used to drive with a self-drive Prius and now an electric car; so that’s a move in the right direction I think. [Applause] Thank you for that. Electrification is also delivering real benefits on our rail system with an 80 percent reduction in emissions across the network after we replace the diesel engines with electric trains. Heavy rail patronage is growing by about 22 percent a year and trains now accommodate 17 million passenger journeys each year.
That has to be the way of the future. [00:15:59] The city rail link, delayed as it was, will enable us to double our capacity on heavy rail. I think the final part of the transport network, apart from walkways, is cycle way and we’ve doubled our cycle ways in the last year. Cycling patronage in Auckland is up by 8 percent on the last year with nearly 84.5 million trips in the 12 months to November last year. I’ve also discovered as Mayor of Auckland, the joys of using an electric bike. If you see me pedaling up Albert Street people say, “Gee the Mayor’s fit, look at the way he’s going,” but that electric motor certainly does help as you go uphill; and it is a faster, a healthier, a cleaner and a better way of getting round the city. New Zealand is fortunate in that most of its electricity is generated sustainably by hydro and wind; over 80 percent. But we need to do more in terms of energy conservation and efficiency. I’m pleased that we’ve replaced 12,500 street lights with LED bulbs; that’s reduced energy use on those lights by 72 percent and by next year we’ll have replaced all 45,000 lights around the city. Retrofitting insulation is also important, but the area that we haven’t succeeded on is private rental.
Who lives in private rental? The poorest Aucklanders and that is the area where we need to help people to make sure that they can reduce their energy bills and their energy usage. Next week I’ll be announcing that council is partnering with local electricity Lines Company Vector and Entrust it's shareholder to take energy efficiency technology into homes and schools in our low income communities in South Auckland. That also will be a pointer for the way forward. Although waste is a smaller part of the energy emissions pie than either transport or energy, we’re determined to meet our ambitious goal of zero waste by 2040. The target here is household waste where we’ve sought to reduce kerbside refuse by 30 percent through a combination of user-pays, co-mingled recycling, trialling food waste collection and an annual inorganic refuse collection and education measures.
And I very much welcome the fact that a fortnight ago I got a letter from the Mayor of Paris inviting Auckland to be C40s lead city on the waste to resources process. We are already making good process there; the household waste is down by 10 percent and waste per person reduced from 160kg to 146kg. That’s really good and I’ve got to say I went to an opening last week of a group called ‘Kiwi Harvest’. Kiwi Harvest is a charitable trust that takes food that is good food but reaching the end of its use-by-date from restaurants, from cafes, from supermarkets and it takes what would have been 250 tonnes of food waste and converts it to three quarter of a million meal for low income families; and again I think that’s a great step forward and a pointer for the future. The last couple of things I want to mention are first of all this city still produces/uses 600 million plastic bags a year.
I look at London and they’ve reduced by 80 percent their usage of plastic bags by charging 5p. I can’t make that change on council but I can get a member of parliament to introduce a local bill and that’s what we’ll be endeavouring to do so that we can reduce that stream of wastage into our system. [Applause] One of the initiatives that we’ll be taking in this term of council that I find really exciting, is our plan to plant a million extra trees in the Auckland urban area and I floated that idea during the campaign and I have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm that I’ve got back from the community. Big government departments wanting to play a part, service groups, schools, community groups, private sector sponsors that see this is a way to offset their carbon emissions. This is a way that we can as a city still make a difference while greening our city and producing better quality water by greening our riparian areas, our streams, our rivers and our coastal areas.
To conclude: there is an urgency around the task ahead of us. Our participation with C40 means that we can learn from others. We can adapt best practice and we can share with others what has worked for us. I welcome our involvement with C40 and their presence here tonight. I welcome the discussion and I hope that the discussion tonight will give impetus to our own actions and lead us towards being an environmentally sustainable city that is good to live in and that we’re proud to live in. Thank you very much; have a great evening tonight. [Applause] Introduction of Panellists Thank you Mayor Goff. So to put the conversations in Auckland Conversations I’d like to welcome to the stage our panellists. We’ll start in order here and you can filter on the way up and then we’ll fire off questions. So the first is Malcom Shield; he’s the climate policy manager at the city of Vancouver.
Malcom recently joined C40 on a two year secondment from the city of Vancouver. He’s a professional engineer having completed his Masters of Engineering at Imperial College London, a Doctorate in natural gas combustion at the University of British Columbia. Malcolm joined the city of Vancouver in 2010 and worked on the development of a carbon reduction pathway or pathways that underpin Vancouver’s greener city’s action plan. Malcolm was responsible for the city’s renewable energy planning and carbon management as well as the implementation of its deep carbonising strategies. He was also responsible for the delivery of the electric vehicle strategy which we might cover tonight I suppose. It's a multi-vendor trial of electric vehicle charging infrastructure, key utility and private sector partnerships, public outreach and building code amendments. Let's give him a quick little round of applause.
[Applause] I would also like to welcome to the stage Penny Nelson who’s the deputy secretary at the Ministry for the Environment. Penny’s responsible for the Ministry’s strategy and evaluation functions, environmental monitoring and reporting as well as the Ministry’s interests in the science system and climate change. She holds a policy responsibility for hazardous substances and new organisms, marine management and New Zealand’s commitments to international environmental agreements, as well as the oversight of the Environment Protection Authority. That seems like just about everything actually Penny. She brings a strong focus on building partnerships across sectors and a wealth of leadership experience in government, business, the scientific community including whether Sustainable Business Council, Ministry for Social Development, Dairy NZ and Land Care Research. Welcome to Penny. Let's give her a round of applause. [Applause] I would also like to welcome Ian Short to the stage.
He’s the former chief executive at Climate Kic in London. Ian recently stepped down as chief executive of Climate Kic, Europe’s largest climate innovation partnership made up of multinationals, city governments, leading universities and start-ups. Climate Kic was established to enable Europe to accelerate innovation to market and lead the global transition to a low carbon economy. Prior to this Ian was the CEO of the Institute for Sustainability, an independent charity established to accelerate the delivery of sustainable cities and communities; and before that he was deputy chief executive of an urban redevelopment in East London he helped establish in 2005. His background is in finance having worked for New Zealand Treasury a while ago and a global investment bank. Let's give him a quick round of applause. [Applause] And finally I would like to introduce to the stage councillor Penny Hulse.
She’s the chair of Auckland Council’s Environment and Community Committee. Penny was deputy mayor of Auckland from the formation of Auckland Council Super City until 2016. She has extensive political experience as a long term Waitakere City councillor and deputy mayor and as a senior member of the first Auckland Council as well. Penny’s committed to working across the political spectrum to achieve what’s best for Auckland and its people. I would generally be shocked if you’re sitting in this room and you don’t know Penny and her leadership on some of the most material issues related to climate change. Please give Penny a warm welcome. [Applause] I’ll make this seamless transition to a seat. There we go. So a few opening questions here and I think I’ll start to my right. Malcolm: You’ve got a very interesting dual perspective with the city of Vancouver, C40. Can you tell us a little bit about C40, why it's been a useful vehicle for Vancouver and action at a city level? Maybe some practical examples of the benefits to Vancouver and how it's helped you on that journey to the world’s greenest city. Thank you for that. I’m indeed Malcolm Shield, the climate policy manager for the city of Vancouver. First of all I would like to recognise that the city of Vancouver is a city that’s on the [25.
56] a memorial for the [26.00] First Nations. The city of Vancouver has been taking action on climate change since its climate change reports in 1990; so we do have a long lineage of action. Most recently we have in place our greenest city action plan; passed by council in 2011. It's our fundamental guiding to sustainability strategy covering 10 key areas from jobs, waste, transportation, carbon; right through to lighter footprint and access to nature. So really the question comes down to how do we access a knowledge base to support those ten different areas? And really that’s what C40 provides us as a city. It's really a knowledge base and a movement. When we look to what C40 is there to provide it really is an NGO that is there to support cities in their movements towards a decarbonised future; towards a climate say future. But what does that mean? How do cities actually work with that framework? Cities have common barriers.
As much as one city is very different to the next the barriers preventing more rapid movement on climate change are reasonably common. So off that basis we need to start working together better. We don’t need to reinvent the world; we need to learn collectively as a group; we need to start moving forward in a much more considered and cohesive fashion. So the network structure that C40 provides the city of Vancouver really allows us to get stuck into very serious conversations around what’s the nature of a decarbonised transportation system? What does a decarbonised district energy system look like for example? And really C40 is there to drive home and also support us as a city in developing the evidence base for which action needs to be taken. It's about making this an A-political movement; it's about being objective in what we need to achieve. It's about having that common basis. And so Vancouver access is different facets of C40; it is that connection basis.
It's about shared learning, it's about a common understanding; but then also with the space to allow some level of nuance of individual cities to get to solutions that are right for the local context. But is also about developing the tools to support that planning process. Make sure that there’s consistency and coherence around our emissions; where they come from and the methodologies used to assess those. What do the different targets mean internationally? How do they relate? What is Vancouver doing in comparison to Stockholm, Oslo, Auckland and other cities around the world and then having that coherent movement to move forward together as a group and really I think that’s where the other aspect of C40 provides us a lot of strength; in that unfortunately there is still a discourse taking place about the genuine need to act on climate and the validity of the need to act on climate; and this really plays out in a very political fashion. And so it's easy to take aim at senior elected officials and say, “Well is the science really settled?” Yes it is and it has been for a long time but mayors need support in that. And so when we look at the membership of C40 it represents over 500 million people; it's the world’s biggest cities.
Vancouver is a small city of 600,000 people. We’re a very innovative city, we can move quickly, but when my mayor goes out there he can still be questioned as to why this is such a fundamental policy. And when he can stand beside the likes of Mayor from Paris and list all these big cities and say that as a collective group we represent the opportunity to move forward and tackle climate change. So C40 for us really provides political bench strengths; it really gives us the political mandate to move forward and not just on a local basis. It's not just for us about the local conversation. Really it's about having cities generate that international buzz. Cities drive emissions but they’re also the centre of innovation. Cities drive world innovation and so why can they not be the source of that innovation to move forward for tackling climate change and moving forward. So it's an integration together of the political movement as well as the staff to staff contact, so that we don’t have to reinvent the wheel, we can learn quicker, and that is out of necessity.
We no longer have the luxury of time to start tackling this problem. This is no longer about incremental changes we have been making slowly since I would say the early 2000s. The time is now. This is exceptionally prescient and we now have to look to how we take transformative action on climate. Transformative action doesn’t come in its own little pockets and its own little thinking; it has to come from working together, moving together as a group, sharing ideas and sharing our thinking and that’s really the access that C40 provides us. Thank you Malcolm. Penny Nelson, you’ve also got a very interesting perspective, having lead the Sustainable Business Council for a number of years and also formerly with the Ministry and now back. I would like to believe that SBC and its members played a pretty key role in actually the Paris agreement and actually the ground swell support of civil society businesses and local governments to get that over the line. I like what you’ve written that business has to be part of the solution because businesses can’t succeed in societies that fail. Now that you’re back in government there’s quite a weight of responsibility for you to accomplish what central government has committed to in Paris.
Can you walk us through how New Zealand’s government, clearly spearheaded by our new deputy prime minister, can pull this off? What’s our way in? How are we going to push through that New Zealand is really a true leader in combatting climate change? Thank you John. First of all I would just like to acknowledge Auckland for the leadership that it's taking in the conversation tonight; it's a really important discussion to be having this evening. I would also like to acknowledge my fellow panellists; I’m looking forward to learning a lot from you this evening with such esteemed backgrounds. It's a really pivotal time for New Zealand on climate change; so as you mentioned my previous role was with the Sustainable Business Council and one of the things that a range of business leaders did ahead of people going off to Paris, was came together, prepared a position paper into government in terms of what they were looking for, in terms of the Paris agreement and beyond.
There as a lot of alignment among business leaders in terms of what they were looking for. And so now that I’m back working within government I do feel like I’m in the hot seat to look at what we can do in terms of what a range of government agencies are doing to contribute into that. So some of what I’d like to run you through is what I’ve seen within government over the last year because I think what we’re observing is increased urgency and there’s a lot going on. So I’m going to run you through what I’m seeing. I think the first thing is that we ratified Paris early and that was a big deal; so initially we’re looking to ratify Paris in 2018 and when our minister was at a number of the international discussions that she was part of, it became pretty clear that it was really important for countries to come together and ratify by the end of last year.
So what happened was we pulled everything forward and just went hell for leather to ratify; so that was a really, really key thing to have happened and New Zealand is really committed to doing its part. I think the other thing is that it's really important to realise how the context has changed. So under Kyoto climate change was an emerging issue and the countries that were signed up to that it was for 12 percent of global emissions. So under the Paris agreement it covers 95 percent of global emissions. I was at a presentation that EY ran last week and what really struck me from that discussion was a comment around this is a major economic disruption globally; this isn’t just an environmental issue, it's an economic issue.
So I think that’s a really shift that you’re seeing with the Paris agreement; when you have someone from a leading accounting firm talking about that’s how they’re seeing things. I think our targets are ambitious, so we’ve got targets to 2030 and 2050 and one of the things that I hear most often is we’re not being ambitious enough. When I look at a climate target to 2030 that’s 235 million tonnes, that’s ambitious. You look at the electric vehicle package that we’ve got at the moment; it's .7 million tonnes is what it will get us. When you look at the trees we’ve got going in the ground at the moment that’s 16 million tonnes; so quite a gap. I think that target is ambitious and if we don’t get there that’s quite a liability that goes with that. In terms of what’s going on at the moment, what I’m seeing is huge effort from New Zealand in terms of how New Zealand contributes to the rule book for Paris.
So New Zealand negotiators have been really well respected for a long time. Their expertise is being called on for some of the really critical things that are being put in place to make Paris work and I think we often lose sight of the role we play on the international stage; so I think that’s an important thing to recognise. Then in terms of the work to get there for our own target, there are really three pillars that were focused on; so international off-sets, getting more trees in the ground because that buys us time and then reducing domestic emissions. We’ve had some of our team at the discussion here today and one of the things that they’ve heard is that it's a third of New Zealand’s emissions come from Auckland; so really key role to play and from my perspective government needs to be working alongside you and really looking at how we do just what Malcolm’s talked about, in terms of how do we align a range of different efforts to get more transformative change. What we’re looking at in terms of offsets, really important that as we start looking at linking with international markets again that we do that in a really credible way; so some of what we’re looking at is how might we do that in a new environment and as you do that how do you ensure that those units have environmental integrity and we’re getting real mitigation from them.
The other thing that we’re doing a lot of work with, with our colleagues from Ministry of Primary Industries, is really looking at if we’re going to get more trees in the ground because that’s an important card in sync; how do you go about doing that? And we’re also working with our colleagues across business innovation and employment and social development because there are also huge regional economic development benefits though people getting jobs and also thinking about how that aligns in terms of social welfare. I think the biggest opportunities that we’ve got for change are in terms of our domestic emissions; so that’s our biggest challenge and also our biggest opportunity. So a range of things that we’re looking at is emission trading schemes; so that’s a really core plank of our policy environment and already what we’re seeing is that our carbon price is starting to rise based of what happened through phase one of the review of that mechanism. We’re now focused on phase two and taking a good look at what else we can do and there’s some really key questions in there; so I’m not going to get into the technical detail, but some of the discussions that are being looked at through there are really big questions, like do we limit the number of international units that we can use, do we need to have price controls anymore or do we need to change that.
So some pretty fundamental questions in there and our team are out there talking around New Zealand at the moment; so looking forward to getting people’s input on that.’ What we’re also recognising is that that’s a key part of what we need to do and there’s more we need to do as well. So we’re looking a lot at what other non-ETS measures do we need to be taking You will have seen that over the last year a number of really key reference groups have been set up with a number of experts from a range of sectors. We’ve got a forestry reference group going; there’s a group looking at agriculture – looking at if agriculture’s 50 percent of our emissions what do we do and how does fit with the ETS, and what can you do in addition to that right now? So really looking at that. We’ve also been looking at process heat; so what are some of the opportunities in there and what we’re increasingly recognising is that there’s more to be done in the transport space and also one of the challenges that we’ve had thrown at us from the business sector is government’s a big purchaser of services what are we doing in the procurement space? So we’re starting to get into that whole discussion around how might that be a lever for change.
You’ll also have seen that there’s a cross party group of MPs who have commissioned a piece of work out of Vivid Economics in the UK; and so they’re starting to look at what are the long term opportunities to reduce emissions in New Zealand. That report comes out in March and we’re really looking forward to getting into that and really seeing what they’re suggesting and how we utilise that; it's a key piece of work. The other reference group that has been set up, and I think this is really key for New Zealand, is a group of experts around adaptation; so it's recognising as well as looking at mitigation we need to be looking at how we adapt. And I think that’s where in terms of the discussion around impact on vulnerable communities, what that means for future generations, that that’s a really key element.
I think the other thing that’s really key for me is we can’t do this alone and what we’re seeing is leadership in a range of different places and we’re really interested in looking at how we align with that. Cities are a really important part of that as Mayor Goff mentioned a lot of population lives here and a lot of growth’s happening here and a lot of emissions are here. So cities are key. I remember when I was at the Sustainable Business Council hearing Peter Backer from the World Business Council we’ll win or lose sustainability in cities; so really key. We’ve got a country report coming out on our environmental performance from the OSED next month and one of the things that they’ve really taken a good look at is what’s the intersection between what happens with urban planning and transport and carbon emissions; and we’re looking forward to looking at how that might influence where we go in the policy space in future. So I think I’m really keen that we keep looking at what can government do to help you succeed here and also really keen to see you continue the momentum with a lot of the innovative things that you’re doing here right now. Fantastic thank you Penny.
That is a very nice breath of fresh air and optimism. Ian we’ll move down the line here. I see a theme here; you’ve got diverse multi-sector experience in this realm. Welcome back to New Zealand recently. Lot's changed since you left and I guess you left a lot of changes from where you came from. I guess let's talk a little bit about European cities. My general sense is that we’ve got this fascination with what’s happening pretty far away, but the connection and kind of adapting those ideas to the current context is sometimes tricky. I guess what’s happening in European cities in terms of stepping up to deliver in Paris and what’s the business role in helping them get there. Thanks John. Thanks for the invitation. I have to say when I came back and I said to you, “Please introduce me to interesting people in the climate sustainability space so I could have a discussion,” I didn’t realise it would be in front of 500 people. Before I dive into some of what’s happening in European cities, what I’m going to do is give a little bit of context of what’s happening in Europe on innovation; and the reason for that is because I think it's directly relevant to the discussion tonight of what we’ve heard already I think from the mayor and then from the first two speakers as well; and probably from Penny on my right too.
As John said, up until a month ago I was the chief executive of an organisation called ‘Climate Kic’ and Kic stands for knowledge and innovation community. There are currently six Kics and more planned. In a sense the Kics are a bold experiment from the European Commission to see how through better collaboration between the research and academic world, the private sector and the public sector, we can significantly accelerate bringing the best ideas to market. In a sense it's quite a big experiment because climate Kic at the moment gets about 80 million Euro a year from the commission and from a standing start six years ago it's delivered more than two billion Euros worth of climate innovation activity. Climate Kic has about 160 staff operating in 18 countries across Europe and we’ve got 220 or so partners. The partners come from the academic and research world; so Imperial College is one of the founding partners, Oxford University, TH in Zurich, Pottstown Institute for Climate Impact and large corporates; so we have corporates like KLM, MG, Violia, Cavestro, Knight Franc.
But also many cities as well; so we have Copenhagen, we have Malmo, we have Frankfurt, we have Birmingham, Valencia and all European focused. But Climate Kic also works with hundreds of startups and SMEs ‘cause it's the innovation space and we have a student alumni of more than 2000 students. So why does Climate Kic exist? We originally started with three, then there were five, now there’s six and more are planned. So why do the Kics exist and why does this collaborative approach to innovation, what does it deliver that isn’t being delivered already? And there are two things which I think are directly relevant to the discussion tonight and to climate change. The first is that each of the Kics have been set up to deliver on a major societal challenge.
Clearly Climate Kic we’re dealing with climate change which is a quite a large societal challenge and there our focus is on finding the best solutions for climate change, mitigation and adaptation wherever they may be in the world and helping make sure that they can come in an deliver massive impact. But the second driver for all of these knowledge innovation communities is economic; to drive European economic growth. And why is that? Because these major challenges are major business opportunities and actually for me it goes well beyond business; it's actually a societal opportunity to change the way that we do things and do things so much better. So this is the new agenda; this is the new economy and the approaches that we’re taking with the Kics and the C40s of this world as well, the collaborative approach is at the core. So onto cities then. So Climate Kic has four areas of focus and cities and urban areas is one of those and it's by far the largest. The reason that it's the largest is because cities give us the biggest opportunity to deliver systemic or joined up solutions; that is joined up ways for planning for cities, joined up ways for developing cities and joined up ways for operating or managing or just living in cities.
So many of the cities that we work with have similar challenges and are focusing in similar areas, but they can be quite different in how they’re approaching them. So just a European perspective here; in some of the cities like many of the Scandinavian cities, it's the city government that’s actually taking a leadership role in terms of convening and is much more hands on. In other countries in Europe central government have set the foundation under which the cities then come and deliver their agenda. And then in a number of countries like the Netherlands and the UK business is leading. In a sense it doesn’t really matter who’s leading; what matters is that we need new and better ways of bringing people together so we can collaborate to deliver on these massive opportunities and these are opportunities, it's not just doom and gloom. To answer John’s question properly I’ve identified four areas where many of the more progressive European cities are focusing where they have a common focus in terms of dealing with climate change; and I’ve matched them with a Climate Kic project for each just to kind of give an explanation of the example.
You should see them I think; Façade Leasing is one of them up on here. If you want to know more about the projects then you can look up on the Climate Kic website. So the four areas are: championing innovation and particularly open innovation; business model innovation; data and digital; and financing. So on championing innovation and open innovation these are often forums or platforms for collaboration and I think C40 is a fantastic example of that and is fundamentally needed particularly for city innovation because of the complexity of the ownership and the stakeholders and all the different people involved. One Climate Kic programme that we have in that space is Oasis and the Oasis programme started when a number of insurance and reinsurance companies came together and agreed that with the increasing risk from climate change and the ever increasing uninsured losses a new approach was required to analyse and price risk from extreme events.
The programme now has 40 of the world's’ largest insurance and reinsurance companies. They’re working on a range of programmes that have the potential to transform the world of risk assessment because it's transparent and open. The second area is business model innovation and this for me is one of my favourites because actually there is huge focus on wonder technologies and wonder solutions. There are huge amounts of fantastic technologies and solutions out there at the moment that don’t have traction in the market because they haven’t figured out their business model. So one small example that we have at Climate Kic is the façade leasing which I just mentioned before. This was a successful pilot scheme which we ran in the Netherlands that explored how the construction industry can work together to lease building facades as a service based on the value you get from energy efficiency and ventilation control. For commercial buildings at least this model is likely to significantly extend the life of a building and therefore greatly reduce the whole life cost.
The third area is data and digital. Here Climate Kic has a city’s flagship programme we call Smart Sustainable Districts where we’re working with some of the highest aspiration cities and district scale developments across Europe all looking to deliver global exemplars of whatever their local motivators are. Two areas where all of the cities are active in this data digital space is one is looking at how digital solutions can improvement with and between the citizens and the stakeholders in the city. And the second area is looking at how they can support a data infrastructure that is safe and secure while opening up all city data to those organisations that can really do something useful with them. And the last area is financing. Low Carbon City Lab or LOWCAL as we call it is working with some of the biggest public and private finance institutions to catalyse and accelerate investment into low carbon and climate resilient infrastructure for cities. They’re focusing on four areas; training for public bodies, support for project identification and preparation, innovative financing models for the cities and impact assessments.
And maybe just for a very quick finish, 60 seconds, I’ll finish on what business in particular is getting out of this type of collaboration and the kinds of things we’re doing on climate change in Europe. In early 2016 we undertook quite a detailed piece of work to look at what Climate Kic’s value proposition was for our partners. Almost all of the organisations who responded had recognised that many of the solutions that they were developing or were looking to implement were systemic solutions which would require some inputs from many other organisations. Therefore most of them saw huge value in working more openly to better facilitate this type of collaboration. The small businesses saw particular value in working with the practical end of academia in the research world in their field, but also in opening a dialogue with potential future clients on their needs at an early stage. Big business appreciated the insight into what innovations were coming over the horizon; appreciated the ability to access early stage innovators and to be able to connect within a whole value chain.
Many of the biggest businesses privately admit that actually their current business model is obsolete in a resource constrained and climate challenged world and so by participating in this kind of collaborative approach they see themselves moving quicker and they can see that they get some value from understanding what else is going on through an open innovation ecosystem. Thank you. [Applause] Thanks Ian. We’re going to do some clapping for Ian on that one; crowd pleaser. So Councillor Hulse you’ve been at the forefront of this stuff for many years leading and I guess I’d been really interested in your take on how have we done here? Where do we stand right now? What’s your vision for where we need to go and how to get there? Kia ora kōtou. I do just want to acknowledge these fantastic panelists. I kind of feel after Mayor Phil's tour de force in telling what we’re doing as council; you probably don’t need to hear too much more from me and I think we need to mine some of this extraordinary information.
But just to build on things a little bit; we have we got to and where are we at now? My gut feeling is we may have been in better places. Post the Rio Summit and some of you might not even have been born yet; an agenda 21 sort of made its way into the world. It felt like a time of huge hope and everyone was sort of travelling in the same direction following on from that fantastic and what now seems as normal as breathing. But at that time the idea that we would join the three well-beings and we would focus on climate change was fairly amazing. We then slipped back and in the last little while as Auckland has grappled with the extraordinary growth we’re facing we’re struggling to keep our eye on that as the way that we need to go forward. But whilst all of that sounds a little bit negative the unitary plan happened and I’m really, really proud of the unitary plan. It's not perfect, there’s a whole bunch of stuff we could have done better, but the unitary plan it and of itself is a climate change document. It sets out to be a compact city based around public transport and protecting our fragile places, whilst providing for affordable housing.
I mean that to me is pretty good. So almost post-unitary plan I think we’re well positioned now to pick up the challenge and move forward. But if you think about Council’s role, we’re planners, we’re funders, we’re partners in trying to make transformative change. On the planning side as I said, I think we’re doing reasonably well. We’ve got the Auckland Plan refresh coming up and I hope that we get a good steer from our wonderful community; i.e., you the wonderful audience, that we need to push even harder on climate change mitigation, adaptation and avoidance. Funding however is going to be our problem and that’s where I think my mood darkened a little bit. We’re very much pushed on messages of saving rates, saving taxes, saving money at a time when we’ve actually never needed to spend more money. Auckland in particular is facing some extreme changes and the irony of the fact that our lovely deputy mayor Bill Cashmore because he’s flooded in, in his farm. The flooding down south has happened in places where there’s never been flooding; so climate change is all around us and we’re seeing it on a daily basis.
Never have we needed to spend more money on sensible ways of managing our stormwater. Never have we needed to spend more money in innovative soft engineering to actually avoid building redundant infrastructure. Never have we been able or been in need of spending more money with our most vulnerable communities to allow them to afford to actually live in this city and if we don’t invest the money now we’re actually robbing from our children of the future; they won’t be able to afford to live in Auckland that we haven’t sured up against the impacts of climate change. Finally, one of our key areas where I feel very hopeful are the opportunities for us to partner and through the lens of avoiding making climate change worse, we’ve got ways of partnering with our community in poverty alleviation projects, in other words how do we work with our most vulnerable communities with the tree planting that they may have talked about and make those social enterprises. How do we work with our most vulnerable communities to assist them living in houses that are affordable into the future, by making sure that they’re warm, dry with alternative technologies; powering them so that we sure them up for the future.
And how do we work in partnership with government and other agencies to make sure that we in Auckland are not left holding the entire cost of the central city rail link, the central city interceptor which help manage storm water; all of the infrastructure that we’re needing to invest in and I’m really interested in how we talk about that partner funding. Finally, probably we’re seeing some really visible changes in the way that we’re building infrastructure and in particular transport infrastructure in Auckland, but we simply need to make the hard call. I don’t personally believe that we should be building anymore motorways; we’re building redundant infrastructure in places that are simply not able to be… [Applause] … I’ll get myself into trouble for that; but we’re in danger of building infrastructure that is expensive, will be redundant and is in the wrong place and is not climate change resilient. So these are all the kind of issues we’re facing. We’ve faced into the wind and we’ve done some of the hard stuff but I guess now when I think about our membership of C40, and thank you Ian for the fantastic explanation of why C40 is so critical.
If we’re to foot it with those extraordinary cities around the world we can’t rest on our laurels. Auckland has been gifted with much that makes us an extraordinary city to live in but we’re actually slipping behind if you look at the state of our waterways, our storm water, the homes that our people live in and the transport challenge we have. Good on the mayor for moving to an electric car. I think I challenged Len at a forum like this to get out of his Holden and get into an electric car and it's great that Mayor Phil has. I ride an electric bike every day and I’m very aware of the state of our roads and the lack of infrastructure to make it the easy thing to do. So finally, the more we make it easy for people to make the right decisions for a sustainable and climate change resilient future, the more likely we are to reach that good future and as council we actually hold the pen on that.
I think for those of us who were lucky enough to be at the last C40 meeting in Mexico, we were greeted by a bunch of shell shocked mayors who staggered off the plane post the Trump election and before they got stuck into the Tequila and cheered up by the mariachi bands to a single voice they announced to us… if anyone’s worried that I’m going to my Mayor of Chicago impersonation I’m not. I’ll avoid the expletives but the message from each of these mayors was, “We actually really don’t give a rats arse what our president says, it's the cities that are actually going to stand staunch on all of these issues.” And I think that for me will last me as long as I live; it's actually cities that make the difference and I think let's hold onto that. Thank you. Alright so we’re nicely warmed up there and quite honest and direct about things; so let's the conversation really going. I think some of the magic here of those of you have been to these conversations before is actually then new understanding and knowledge that’s generated in the amazing room like this with you as the audience participating as another sector here, ‘cause we’ve got civil society and people in residence as well as all the sectors lined up here on the stage.
So a key theme I’ve heard from each four of you is around collaboration and partnership. I would like to dial down a little bit more into the details on that; whether it be businesses, whether it be cities as an ecosystem or even central government and the complexity of different ministries with different responsibilities around climate change. How do we get lined up better operationally with our own eco-system or our own business and actually lead? I guess how we break down those barriers to collaboration? What are they and would anybody to field the question about digging into the next level there? How do you look at different perspectives? How do you build bridges between operations that doesn’t talk to a different part of the organisation? Ministers that might not have the same perspective? Anybody want to field that one? I’ll have go.
I’ll field in a slightly broader context as well actually, because I wouldn’t mind just having a quick response to what I heard from Penny too; which is my personal motivation and the reason I’ve been involved in climate change and sustainability for over a dozen years now is because I view this as a huge opportunity. I have finance background; so I’m a bloody accountant. I worked for an investment bank so I’ve done the evil, but actually I’ve come and I look at this thing and I just think it's common sense; and the common sense isn’t actually huge amounts of new money coming in, the common sense is just taking what we’re already doing and doing it in a joined up and smarter way. [01:02:23] So I am extremely positive about it and I really don’t think it has to be massed amounts of new money. But the point that we do need is the point you’ve just raised now John, which is you need the ability to be able to join things up and collaborate.
And it really isn’t human nature to want to collaborate. One of the things I’ve seen when we’ve done a lot of innovation where organisations get together and collaborate, often they’ll break down because the organisation itself is not structured in a way where they collaborate. And I hate to say this John but some of the worst I have seen have been from local authorities and city governments where different departments compete with each other on things as well. So the question is how can you? You clearly need leadership from those organisations but you also need to make sure that there’s enough of a prize or a carrot or something where people say, “Actually this is worth us doing.” But then you need to have the platform; you need to have the environment where people can feel that it's safe to come and be open about what they’re doing and they can be guided through it, which I think the C40s and the Kics and the others of this world are an important part of it.
Just keen to build on what Ian’s talked about. I’ve worked in the academic sector, the private sector and the public sector and a comment that Ian made really struck me. It's it doesn’t matter who’s leading because when I’ve been in those different sectors everyone thinks they’re leading or others are the laggards etc. I think for me the guts of it was Ian’s comment around it doesn’t matter who’s leading, we need to find better ways to bring people together and collaborate. Last year I saw a really practical example of it when you had government thinking about an electric vehicle package. They invited the private sector in to work with them and there was a lot of testing in that discussion around how that could be done and what that resulted in was a package that just got things going. And what you’re seeing springing from that is a whole lot more innovation. So I look at Auckland and the number of charging stations you’ve got around the place; hearing about the different partnerships that are springing from that; it was just providing a space to get some collaboration going and get something that then people can build. So I think that’s really key.
In terms of the public sector quite often people don’t think that agencies are very good at working together and one of the things that I’ve really seen happen over the last year is a range of different agencies sitting down and being really straight up with each other about what they’re there to achieve and their different outcomes they’re responsible for and then how they align some things. We have now got a group of chief executives from across the natural resource system who have said, “Actually we’re where the buck stops in terms of how we work together on climate change, it's a joint objective across government, we’ve got to work out how we work together to make that accelerate and it's getting different combinations of departments to push along different areas.” [Change of panellist] I can answer that in that I think there is still a need for strong and visionary leadership right at the top; that sets the tone for the whole organisation to respond. Without that you do get the internal dialogues around, “Well should we going that way? Should we be going this way? Is this a priority? Is it that?” You need that strong leadership both from your elected officials but also within the city administration; the city manager, the very senior managers within the city to get to a set of desirable shared outcomes.
What does that vision actually mean? What are the outcomes that we’re looking for and how do we chase those down in our daily operations? And what goes with that set of shared outcomes is shared accountability. Particularly for cities we must absolutely be publically accountable and report clearly on the progress we’re making, be clear about what is working, what is not working, why it's not working and where we’ve had that success. Then you can build up that environment that is both supportive of the elected officials who are setting ambitious but yet achievable targets and then how as an organisation you respond as a whole and not each of us within our individual silos playing a small part within that. Just a little bit more about shared accountability; just thinking about all the sectors together.
Actually a recent visitor here to New Zealand, I believe it was Lord Devon who came over from the UK and talked about the Climate Change Committee that actually sets targets over a long period of time; there’s collective accountability. It seems like quite an interesting model and I’d be curious of perhaps Penny your take on a structure like that, that seems to cut through some of the short term political cycles and kind of the here and now and actually gets us to a vision that we need to get to. I think the outcomes we’re looking for around climate change, they’re long term outcomes. We’re really open to looking at what’s worked elsewhere and do we need to be thinking about it. I think the vivid economics report that’s coming out in March we’ll have a range of agencies who will be taking a really good look at that and working with ministers about where we got to from here from that. Any other thoughts there? I might go to Penny? Can I just make a comment? I think that economic lens is a critical one and what we’ve grappled with is making the lens sophisticated enough so that it is actually future focused; and I’ll be really excited to see this report when it comes out.
Because the bottom line is unless we have that –and Malcolm you’re absolutely right, unless we’ve got a very, very clear set of outcomes that’s agreed to not only by the council or the government, it has to be agreed by the community and the city themselves – so that when we have to make those difficult financial trade-offs, in other words if we’d had something very, very clear to aim for as a region we wouldn’t have built the North Western Motorway without a bus way because it was too expensive to do at the time; it would have happened in concert and at the same time because we were working towards a sensible outcome. If we do have those agreed outcomes and they are endorsed by the community, viewed a sensible economic lens we should have the right decisions made. Just on that I want to acknowledge my colleague, Councillor Chris Darby, who’s actually leading the refresh of the Auckland plan and I think through Chris’ work and endeavours on this that’s where I hope that as Auckland we might start to really tie down that long term of plan of where we’re going; so the government can understand what it is we’re doing and why and business can enrol in a better partnership with us to achieve it, and our community can know what to expect.
Another example that jumps to mind is there’s an agency in Germany called Agora and for those of you are aware of the energy transition, the energy that Germany is undertaking, they are very aggressively getting renewables into the grid; in such a way that’s it's massively disruptive. Governments aren’t good with disruption so the approach that’s been taken is Agora is a government funded agency, they get their money direct from the government but in essence they’re a think tank. They have a very strong academic base but from a range of different sectors. They have representation from the industrial sectors, from the utility sector, both wind and solar, so on and so forth. They have economists and finance; a very large base. An in essence the role that they place is to be the future thinking think tank of the utility framework for Germany and what they produce is guidance to the German government on the direction that they should be taking for the structure of their utilities, their rate structure, how you deal with the disruptive nature of renewables; so that the government has independent advice.
Even though it's funding the agency it is independent advice and they do not have to listen to Agora but Agora has established its credentials over the years; so that the government would be very hard pressed to deny the presence that Agora brings and the thinking that it provides the government. So it's a slightly different model. I’m trying to trawl some of the questions that are coming into us on social media and that were sent to us ahead of time. I wanted to kind of crack into the regulation and innovation space a little bit. There’s some who might see them as opposing force but can one of you kind of get us into a better understanding of the balance between the correct amount of regulation or not and how it either spurs or silences innovation? I can jump in on that one. I think particularly for any level of government, even though my experience is primarily in local government, there is very clearly a role for government in establishing a sandpit in business plays. For 90 years economics have told us that the government has a very clear role to play.
But the nature of that role varies over time depending on what the economic conditions are, what the latest academic penchant is. But really particularly when we look at the transition to a renewable energy future, if governments over-regulate that market you’re just going to stimmy the innovation; there’s going to be no change within what’s being not. Business will not be able to respond. But then if you under regulate you end up with the market failures. The Government is not going to achieve the outcomes that it desired. There’s that sort of Goldilocks part of porridge in the middle there that’s not too small, it's not too big, it's just right. But what does that just right mean? It means that the government is very clear about the direction that regulation is taking and the outcomes that it wishes to see. Not the solutions; the government does not need to specify what those solutions are, but what the outcomes we wish to achieve.
A hundred percent renewable energy. Business how are you going to achieve that 100 percent renewable energy future. So I think it is a misnomer to think that government can completely step back and let the business take us where we wish to go. Government is there to help form and shape the societies that we’re looking for. But finding that sweet spot in the middle for regulation is I think one of the defining challenges of the disruptive nature of renewables in the move towards a decarbonised future. Go ahead Penny. I was going to ask you a question about the market failure and connection to what some might say from a critical perspective the ETS; in that it doesn’t incorporate agriculture and as a mechanism to drive change and get the policy settings right, it's not currently achieving what we’re hoping it does.
Can you say a few things about that from the hot seat? Absolutely. First of all I’m just going to build on what Malcolm said. So absolutely agree with what you said and I think another role of government can be looking at aligning what’s happening in policy across government; so some of the work that the OECD has been doing is really getting government to take a critical look about are there different things that agencies are doing that are actually countering what others are doing; so I think that’s really key as well. Another area that I think is critical that I hear CEs talk about a lot, is sometimes government just has to work out how to actually get out of the way. So when we’ve got technology change happening so fast, sometimes actually working out just how to keep out of the way is really critical. In terms of the ETS part of the reason that we’re so focused on the reviews that I talked about earlier is because for a number of years the price has been really low.
What you have seen is it starting to rise with the first phase of changes and we’re currently looking at that next phase because it is such a critical instrument. And as I said earlier there are other things that we need to do. So we’re already talking a lot with the agricultural sector about what are some of the things that we can just get on and start going right now in term of change on farm, but also huge investment at looking about how we work through some of the innovation needed for some of those really tricky areas in that sector. Ian do you want to take a few words from your perspective, from the business sector, of how this works in your opinion? Yeah. If you’re going to ask a question on innovation I would like to chip in one or two things definitely John. I’m going to take it away completely from the regulation side and just think about what’s required in terms of innovation. So I think New Zealand actually has a fantastic reputation for innovation. I’ve come back now and I’m starting to see who the different organisations are and the different schemes and things that are run. I’m frankly amazed because there’s very little public subsidy or support for it. So I mean well done for that.
But actually innovation is the future; innovation is the future if we’re going to deal with these huge societal challenges, global challenges and challenges to mankind and deal with them in a way where we deliver real value and get something good from it. So I think it's essential that there is support for entrepreneurial thinking right from when kids are at school and through universities and stuff. There has to be support for somebody who’s got a whacky idea. How do they take that whacky idea and then test it? How do they take that whacky idea, they’ve tested it and it looks like it's going to work so we’ll turn it into a company? So there needs to be sufficient support mechanisms to be able to support those whacky ideas and innovation to come forward. But actually the biggest thing that I guess the people on the panel and the people in the room can do is, in your day to day job be prepared to take a risk on some innovation; be prepared not just to for the status quo every single time.
Don’t always go for the safe option. If it's something that’s big and it's really important and you can’t risk it then actually do a pilot or something; but innovate. Go and innovate, go and trial things, go and put a call out and say, “Actually this is the aim that we’re looking for. Who’s got a solution for it?” Rather than just saying, “Actually here’s the way we’re going to go and deliver that thing.” Because you can do this in your day job, you can deliver a huge amount of it. Innovation I would think is the future and I think it's a huge piece of the climate change future. Can I just support that? Often though getting the funding to support those whacky and innovative ideas is tough. One of my current passions, it's been a passion for a long time, is waste and rubbish and how we manage things better.
One of the most sensible things we could do is to put the price of tonne per landfill up to around $200 and that levy will certainly increase the amount of money available for innovation and waste. And when you’ve got a serious amount of money like that, that’s the time when you do get extraordinary innovation, clever ideas and the ability to actually back some of our community organisations doing outrageous and clever things that you can then scale up and make change. I love that. To be honest I think that’s great. [Applause] I genuinely do because in the future there is no such thing as waste right? Every single thing is valuable. So we look back at how we lived 50 years ago. We look back at how people lived in societies where they had very few resources. Actually you make the most of everything; so give it a little kickstart and put up the price of landfill and that gives it a Kic start. I’m just putting that out there ‘cause I may need some help with that.
That’s great. You must have been reading the Twitter vibe, ‘cause shout out to the Kaipatiki project who had a very similar question. I’m going to now go to the audience actually for some live questions that aren’t in digital format. Does anybody have first a mic that might be roaming around and can you get it to a question please. I would like to just pose a question to the lady from the Ministry. You said that New Zealand’s climate change target is very ambitious. I would challenge that because it's so distant it's almost meaningless. Other countries have set weigh points along the way to their 30 or 40 or 50 year plan so we can see whether they are on target and actually doing something or sitting on their butt doing very little. I would strongly commend to you the work of Nicholas Stern, British Economist London School of Economics, I think he was hired by Maggie Thatcher to report to her on the issue of climate change and he basically made the point that if you do little and often you will get there.
If you sit around and do nothing then you will get into the catastrophic situation where the sorts of things you would need to do to the climate change will be so huge they will disrupt the economy. So a question please Graham? Well that is my question. Have you read the work of Nicholas Stern? And if not will you please do so and acquaint your employer with the message. Yes I have read the work of Nicholas Stern and agree with you that outstanding thinker that Kic started a whole range of things. In terms of the little and often how does that contribute up to a target, the way I think about is in terms of that 2030 target, if we’ve got 235 million tonnes that we have abate what does each particular action that we take get us to that? As I mentioned before the electric vehicle package that we’ve got gets us to .
7 million tonnes – that’s pretty low; and then with existing forestry planting we’re doing that gets us 16. So the way we’re thinking about it is with a range of different initiatives that are happening. What does that actually do in terms of that abatement target that we’ve got? So I think that’s one way of looking at how we’re tracking on getting to where we need to get to. I’m hearing a quick soon announcement about the next EV innovation fund from EECA kind of as part of this. If that’s only .7 we might need to get that in gear quite quickly. Can you stick your hands up really high and let's take another question from the floor. There is one over there. Can we get a mic on this gentleman then over here to the right? Whoever gets there first how’s that. I guess we’re going right here. Thanks. Hi. What do you think we can change in the transports here that would create the greatest reduction in carbon emissions? Electrified personal transport. You’ve got a grid that’s 80 plus percent renewable. If you can displace a significant proportion of the diesel and gasoline use straight to a renewable source as you have, the gains can be had almost overnight.
You can actually look at improving your grid in terms of grid resilience, time of use, loading, you can do peak shaving with electric vehicles. The opportunity that comes from electrification of personal transportation are low; let alone what you can do when you start looking at buses. It's vast and that’s an opportunity that is unique to very few places in the world. There’s not that many places in the world that have an electricity grid that is as clean as it here. You look to some of the Scandinavian countries, Canada, New Zealand. I think another area we’ve got to think about is the freight sector; so freight numbers are going through the roof. I know that the Sustainable Business Council is doing some really interesting work at the moment where a number of the major companies they’re working with are thinking about how they build that into their procurement around freight and what they might do to be able to shift somethings onto rail etc; so that’s another key area. Any other questions from the floor? I see one back there probably closer to the mic.
John talked before about the city. Auckland’s a different sort of city; it's a regional city. And so instead of standing on the edge and looking in at the concrete you need to stand on the edge and look out at part of the green area that’s going to save you. And at the moment there’s a whole lot of farmers out there who are planting land and sequestering carbon at a cost of about $50,000 to $60,000 a hectare. But I’m just wondering, and maybe Penny or John could answer this, is why Council is actually opposing the incentives that are there for that planting; that the Council don’t contribute to, it comes through the real estate industry. I’m talking about farmers planting and then getting transferable development rights which are shifted close to town and why are Council opposing that? I know that this has been raised in the unitary plan and I think it's still an issue we need to resolve. Do you want the kind of quick and dirty answer for me? I don’t think we’ve probably thought it through sufficiently to work out rather than looking at these issues through unitary plan eyes, in other words what can we develop where and how.
I don’t think we have addressed it from a carbon sequestration issue. Is that a useful answer? Probably not. Haven’t got any wiser words for you other than I think we could do better on that one. And I guess I would only add that there are mechanisms that seem to work pretty well in other places; bit of a hat tip to those in the audience in the front row here. Like the transfer of development rights, or tax increment financing and tools that we need to look at a lot more seriously because they tend to deliver some positive outcomes in other places. The context might be different, the policy drivers might be different but we should be more open to those ideas. Question in the back there; yes sir? Hi, the Mayor spoke earlier on about the growth in the city; we’ve got nearly 1000 people a week coming into the city which is half the immigration for the country. Do the panel think that we have to have growth in the model we’ve been accustomed to in the last 30 years, which is increasing population and increasing GMP? Do we have to have growth? It seems to me to be backwards.
Does somebody want to frame the opportunity of growth? While the panel think; I think we’re quite lucky that Graham didn’t ask that question. This is usually your question isn’t it Graham? Starting from the wider issue of growth, not only is it people coming into the country, it's people returning to the country and the fact that a lot of us are having quite a lot babies; not me but part of our community. So we need growth to regenerate our city and our country and if you look at the baby boomers and who’s around to actually support people in their old age, we’ve actually got a shrinking bunch of young people who will actually support those of us that are rapidly greying and aging. So growth in and of itself isn’t bad; it's what we do with it. I’m pretty much a glass half full person; I think growth offers huge opportunities. I hardly think we’re chocker by world standards.
It's what we do and how we manage the potential of growth in a way that doesn’t exacerbate the mistakes of the past. If we use it well and use it wisely I think it's a fantastic opportunity for us. So I don’t into the “Let's close the doors we’re full,” model. [01:27:05] I will say however wouldn’t it be great if we shared some of that with our beautiful cities, like Dunedin; all the infrastructure and the ground, everything going for it, let's share the joy? [Applause] There’s one thing that I flicked up on the screen in my opening where you saw graphs going up which would be population in GDP and you saw carbon impacts coming down and that wasn’t per capita that was overall. So I guess if we look to the rest of the world you kind of can have your cake and eat it too; you can kind of have it both ways. It's just those decisions you need to make to get there. We’ve got about five or so minutes left here.
A very patient crowd. We’ve got a question right in here from [1.27.46]. Can we get a mic here? Right in the front. Anne Smith from Environment Solutions. So building on the theme that we’ve just heard and also I’m desperate to name drop that I was lucky enough to talk to Lord Stern in October. So at the Stern Plus 10 Conference they pointed out very clearly speaker after speaker that the build environment, that 50 percent of the built environment in 2030 has not yet been built. Now this is going to happen to Auckland and all of the big cities. The infrastructure and buildings that we’ve already started building, if they’re not low carbon you’re locking in high carbon for 100 years. So to build on that I was lucky enough to be the sustainability manager for a very large university that build the biggest brown field development in Europe with their new campus. And this was in the early 2000s. We had one of the most sustainable campuses. We spent money on life cycle assessment of almost every large purchase. We came to the conclusion once it had been built that unless everybody lived and worked sustainably in those buildings it didn’t matter a damn how efficient they were, how sustainable they were; it was going to rely on how we lived and worked in those buildings.
No two big challenges there. First of all what are we doing to make all of the infrastructure that’s going into Auckland now low carbon? And what are we doing about making it so people can work and live sustainably using that infrastructure? Just another easy question for the panel. Thanks Anne. Does anyone want to take that one on? How do we imbed low carbon into our long term infrastructure decision making? I think it's an excellent question; because we have to is one of the easiest answers, but how to do that there might be some insights from the panel. Firstly, absolutely acknowledge the point that the decisions we make in the next five years lock in our future for the next 100 years. We really are at that crux. This is the time to start making the decisions. We should already have been making those decisions 15, 20, 25, 30 years ago but the reality we face is we have to make the decisions now. We no longer lack the information knowledge and foresight that should be driving those decisions. For me when I think about infrastructure, really it's about more rapid development times. At the moment it takes too long to develop infrastructure and by the time it gets to market and completion the landscape has changed; not the physical landscape but the landscape that it was there to serve.
So it's about more rapid development cycles for infrastructure; and also doing a much better job of predicting the future needs of that infrastructure. One of the classic examples that really jumps to mind is there’s no denying that autonomous vehicles are starting to come to market and can potentially come to market very rapidly; but for those autonomous vehicles to go into an underground parkade they need a cell phone repeater. Underground parkades are not currently set up for cell phone repeating; so we have to go through… and if those vehicles are going to be able to use that infrastructure we now need to retro fit and put a whole set of infrastructure in place. It's those insights into technology forward and it's the future proofing. But at the same time I think we have to recognise that we cannot wholly predict the future. So infrastructure needs to start to become much more adaptive to a changing climate, to changing demographics, to changing technology; it can longer be that rigid brittle unresilient infrastructure that we’re used to today.
So I think we just need to completely reimagine what infrastructure planning and infrastructure deployment actually looks like; whether it's Auckland, Vancouver, any city you wish to name. Just two very quick points. The first one is just to build on what Malcolm just said which is that the infrastructure is modular. I mean we’re looking at different things. We’ll be able to take things and pull them apart and update them as we go. The second is I’ve done a lot of work with the infrastructure providers in London and I have to say having worked in a number of different sectors, the infrastructure sector, particularly the utility sector, is one of the most backward industries every. So the potential for efficiencies to actually be joined up and putting in infrastructure that’s joined up in a coordinated way; enormous potential for carbon saving and financial saving.
So if my stomach was through the microphone you would have heard that’s about dinner time for a lot of us. I don’t want to hold people captive so we’re going to try to wrap this up. To do so I’ve got a couple of lightening round questions that could be answered in maybe one word or one quick phrase. What’s one thing you need from another sector, from where you’re sitting now, to make yourself successful? Sorry to spring that on you Malcolm but you’re closest to my right. In one word; visionary thinking. Collaborate. Yeah I think openness to collaborate. Mine is to generosity and kindness. Excellent. And then what’s what thing you’ll commit to do in the next month as a result of this conversation and keep us moving in that direction? Let's go the other way; sorry to put you on the spot Councillor Hulse.
I want to read the economic report that Penny’s talking about; sounds fantastic. Sterns on the homework list for Pen? No not that one sorry. I’ll get Graham to precis that for me. Is it the Vivid Economics Report? Yeah and that’ll be launched later both in Auckland and Christchurch; and I think Wellington later this month. Excellent. I will personally talk to each person on this panel about how I can help in what they’re doing going forward John. Excellent. Looking forward to that conversation. I’m going to follow up with Penny around the waste area; so we’ve been talking a lot in the Ministry about the circular economy and with the money that’s collected through that waste levy we’re really interested in looking at some different ways to get to different solutions; so we’ll be in touch. As long as you asked me anything that’s professional I’ll get it done. We’re not going to ask a follow up question to that one.
So let’s give our panel a great round of applause for their participation. [Applause] And no Auckland Conversation would be quite complete without a really very vocal vote of thanks. We are lucky enough to have Councillor Chris Darby who chairs the planning committee here to do just that. So let's shut down the show Councillor Darby. Thank you John. John has got this rapid delivery hasn’t he? He’s a man on a mission. We stole him out of what was it? Seattle or Portland or both and he’s our new, not too new now because he’s been in the role a year and a bit, our new Chief Sustainability Officer. So the first applause, let's put it together for this man John Morrow. [Applause] Thank you John. I’m Chris Darby and I’m the Chair of the Planning Committee and close colleague of course with Penny Hulse who chairs our Environment and Community Committee and between the two of us and with Phil Goff who’s had to depart early we are charged with really stepping up some significant change in the climate change space. We’ve got big challenges in Auckland.
We often think of public transport being a big challenge and we all nod and agree in that space. We think of unshackling from that car dependency; yeah we can sign up for that as well. And we think of the mission critical around housing; we’ll say yes we’ve got to address that one as well. And how to fund the backlog of everything, that’s another major. But nothing comes near; all those three pale in significance really against the challenge of climate change. This is our big challenge and of course it ties in the other three that I’ve just mentioned. There is no vaccination that is going to make us instantly immune from that challenge of climate change. Tonight we’ve heard some insightful presentations and some good takeaways and I won’t repeat those takeaways because I think we’ve all grabbed them from Penny Nelson and thank you Penny from Wellington here, Ministry of Environment link; collaboration I heard is the key takeaway that you were reinforcing. My councillor colleague Penny Hulse; we’ve got work to do Penny and we will.
They’ve further stimulated the discourse that we must keep having and it shall not cease. From Vancouver, Malcolm great city you have, a beautiful city but not just about its beauty, it is leading; it is a city that is leading. I was there 18 months ago and it's absolutely evident and people are gravitating to Vancouver not just to enjoy its beauty but they’re gravitating there to grab the ideas. Thanks for bringing yours here. Ian welcome back; been away a long time. You’re back and I think you might have just found yourself on the payroll here. We will be grabbing every idea out of you here today. Do you know I heard a few years ago, it was a couple of years ago, the World Health Organisation said that climate change was the biggest health issue facing the world; the biggest health issue. Then I heard Bloomberg Finance report and probably echoing some of your comments here tonight Malcolm, they were reporting that climate change was the biggest economic challenge and opportunity.
Malcolm you were reiterating that and Ian you the same. I remember when Angela Merkel announced I think it was two years ago now, or it might have been a bit more, after a bit of an incident with a nuclear plant down in [1.38.27] but they were going to release themselves from the reliance on nuclear energy; they’ve got a way to go on coal mind you. And I had the opportunity to speak to a friend of mine who had an exchange with the then foreign minister and he asked that foreign minister, “Why did you do that?” and he says, “It was just an opportunity, the time was right for us to not just release our reliance on nuclear but it was our opportunity to grab the space to own the IP around energy renewables and get a jump on the rest of the smart world and make money.” That’s pretty much what it was. And I thought what a smart nation and that was under a conservative Merkel government.
Leadership can be from all the parties on climate change. So folks, the title of today was stepping out on climate or stepping up on climate change and I just want to dwell on that for a moment because I don’t think there are any baby steps from here on in. It's not about incrementalism. I think we need to take some leaps and I’m talking about our own city here. We need to step up. You’ve got a new council, you’ve heard from our new Mayor Phil Goff that he wants to challenge in this space. There’s a new determination around the council and I think in coming months you will hear from us, but we also need to hear from you in our refresh of the 30 year vision, our Auckland plan. You will see a greater focus and emphasis on climate change in that document. It's not our intention to just have a very well meaning, well worded chapter on climate change; it is our intention that wrap that chapter into every other chapter and make it cohesive and integrated right across the 30 year vision and not for it to be just standing alone at Chapter 11 or 12 or wherever it is.
It's got to be integrated; it's got to be ingrained. And there’s got to be a collaborative and cohesive response from this council, our council and our community and from government; on behalf of not just Auckland but all of us here in New Zealand. The other thing that we need to probably look at is what I term to lubricate our decision making and I think I heard that from you again Malcolm tonight. We don’t have much time. We can’t dwell on this and not make the decisions that are required of us. So you will see the leadership that’s being called for here tonight; that also needs to be translated into community leadership, individual leadership and government leadership in this space. We do need to set clear targets and we need to monitor the success or otherwise. I think Penny and I agree that we’re not doing that at the moment; we’re not coming anywhere near it.
Innovation I hears mention tonight is critical. I just checked the procurement contract for new bus services in Auckland. Sixty percent is on price and 40 percent is on non-price attributes and of that 40 percent a smidgen, four percent I discovered, was on innovation. That did not enlighten me much at all about where we’re going in a positive way in responding to climate change. We know innovation is critical, yet we weight it so poorly. We’re going to have to do better. In closing, it's a little sell. We’ve got a budget out for engagement at the moment. It's your opportunity to tell us, respond at the back of the room here, grab a form and tell us what you want to see in that budget that might assist us all in responding to climate change. It's not just about tourism and it's not just about rateability and it's not just about living wage; they are all critical things and important things that are in that budget but we want to hear the other issues that are key to you in your existence and participation here in Auckland.
So thanks for coming along tonight. Let's put our hands together very shortly for our panel of Penny, Ian, Penny, Malcolm and John. We’ll be back here on the 23rd and that’s our next Auckland Conversation where we’ll be discussing another big issue for Auckland – homelessness. Thanks for coming out tonight. Walk and cycle home safely..