Next Waitematā Harbour crossing must be climate-friendly

The Minister for Transport can show climate leadership and consider only the lowest carbon ways of crossing Waitematā harbour.

“The only acceptable outcome from the new study into options for a new Waitematā Harbour Crossing would be for the Government to commit to active transport and high capacity, zero carbon public transport,” says Julie Anne Genter, Green Party spokesperson for transport.

“World leaders and climate scientists are telling us we need to radically transform how we live and get around this decade. Action to cut climate pollution is a moral imperative facing every Government. It is also a huge opportunity to create more liveable cities, with better and more affordable transport connections. 

“Decisions made by successive governments have forced people to rely on cars to get around Auckland. So much so that transport now makes up around 40 percent of Auckland’s climate pollution. 

“To be carbon neutral by 2050, it has been estimated that Auckland’s transport emissions will need to be cut by up to 70 percent. Providing extra capacity for cars to get across the Waitematā Harbour would be counterproductive. 

“Electric cars will of course play a role, but the high cost and congestion they cause means there is a much bigger role for more efficient transport like e-bikes and light rail. Electric cars can use the roads we already have - and when congestion pricing comes in more and more people will need alternatives to cars. 

“The decisions Ministers take in the next few years will have a profound impact on the world our children and grandchildren will inherit. Similarly, what Ministers decide to do about an additional crossing over Waitematā will shape the future of Auckland for generations to come. 

“It is crucial that Ministers give people the tools they need to access reliable, affordable low-carbon alternatives to cars. 

“With a strong Green voice at the decision making table we can make sure those decisions are good for people, good for the city, and good for the planet,”  says Julie Anne Genter.

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