Auckland Exposed? Truth, consequences and aspirations for a climate-ready city.

Auckland Exposed? Truth, consequences and aspirations for a climate-ready city.

In collaboration with New Zealand Green Building Council (NZGBC)

Join international sustainability expert Matt Petersen and panellists as they discuss the challenges we face as a city to get climate ready - and what it could mean for us if we don't.

How climate-ready is Auckland? 
New Zealand is a truly desirable destination. It’s clean and green, people make money launching home-grown rockets and creating movies, and we see ourselves as fun and fair. But how true is our perception of being green, innovative and fair? Are we really ready for climate change or are we in for a big surprise? 

Is our growth and change a liability?
Auckland is growing and changing but this doesn’t need to be a liability.  Instead, it’s an opportunity to harness new energy, ideas and collective power to transition to an Auckland that is cleaner and fairer. Other cities and nations have shown that GDP, population, climate readiness – even happiness – can rise rapidly while emissions fall sharply.

What does a just and prosperous transition look like?
Our most vulnerable – including Māori and Pasifika communities – are most impacted by climate change and will continue to be so.  Doing nothing on climate means turning our back on our most vulnerable and creating greater inequality in our society, harming us all.  It’s time for a transition that:

  • Creates a more compact Auckland that has great places alive with vitality and restricts urban sprawl. 
  • Decentralises infrastructure with clean energy and green infrastructure at a local level, healthier and more energy efficient homes, water-sensitive design and more convenient and reliable transport choices. 
  • Incentivises and innovates a cleaner, stronger and more resilient economy with jobs that pay well, last longer, keep money circulating locally and develop solutions for a better future.

The future for Auckland and NZ is being determined by decisions made today.  It’s time to get it right. This Auckland Conversation brings together a talented panel with diverse perspectives to challenge what we’re telling ourselves about our current progress, explore the consequences of the status-quo and offer their aspirations for a climate-ready Auckland. Join the conversation and help us get there!

Matt Petersen

CEO at Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI)

Prior to joining LACI, he was appointed as the first ever Chief Sustainability Officer for the City of Los Angeles. Serving as CSO for four years, Petersen was the chief architect of the groundbreaking Sustainable City pLAn and helped create the Climate Mayors. Petersen co-founded Global Green USA and led the organization for 19 years as President and CEO. The organization was a pioneer in greening of affordable housing, schools, and cities as well as helping grow the solar sector. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Petersen put forth a vision and mobilized resources to green the rebuilding of New Orleans.

Petersen is chair of the Climate Mayors board, a board member of Global Green USA, Habitat for Humanity of Greater LA, Center for Environmental Health and the Sir Edmund Hilary Institute for International Leadership. He's a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the LA Sustainability Leadership Council and served as an advisor to the Clinton Global Initiative on energy and the environment while a CGI member for 10 years. 

Rhys Jones

Public Health Medicine Specialist and Senior Lecturer in Māori Health at the University of Auckland

Dr Rhys Jones (Ngāti Kahungunu) is a Public Health Medicine Specialist and Senior Lecturer in Māori Health at the University of Auckland. His research interests include environmental influences on health and wellbeing, and he is a strong advocate for climate action that advances health, equity and indigenous rights. Rhys is Co-Convenor of OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council, a health professional organisation focusing on the health challenges of climate change and the health opportunities of climate action.

Danusia Wypych

Supply Chain Manager, Z Energy

Working with the integrated Z team, Danusia Wypych’s role is to reduce the environmental impact of Z Energy and ensure the long-term success of transport energy in NZ. What we move and how we move might change over the years to come but Z plays a key role in powering NZ on the move. Over the past months Danusia has set Z some ambitious sustainability goals for the future including working with customers to increase their fuel efficiency, leading the supply of biofuels in NZ and reducing the impacts of Z products and business.  

John Mauro

Chief Sustainability Officer, Auckland Council

John Mauro is Auckland Council’s first Chief Sustainability Officer.  John and his team provide thought leadership, drive strategic direction and champion change to mainstream sustainability and resilience in the Auckland region.   

The focus of the office is to unlock the potential of Auckland’s low carbon transformation, build climate resilience, and lead by example through business and operational practices – from building portfolio to procurement, from fleets to financing - so all activities deliver smarter sustainability outcomes. 

John has over 20 years of experience in climate policy, research and advocacy.  He came to Auckland from Seattle, where he worked as Policy Director for a transport not-for-profit, helped deliver the US Mayor’s Climate Protection Agreement and Seattle’s first climate plan while in the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, and ran an organization dedicated to smart growth policy and advocacy. 

Romilly Madew

CEO, Green Building Council of Australia

Romilly Madew is passionate about creating sustainable buildings, communities and cities. Since 2006, Romilly has led the Green Building Council of Australia has built a global reputation as an influential advocate and change agent.Romilly’s collaborative style has led to many board and committee appointments. She is a member of the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council, Independent Chair of the Currawong State Park Advisory Board, a member of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and Chief Executive Women boards.Romilly is also a current and past member of numerous federal and state government ministerial panels.A vocal advocate of diversity, Indigenous issues, flexibility in the workplace, and women in sport. Romilly was awarded the 2017 World Green Building Council Chairman’s Award, 2016 Pittwater’s Citizen of the Year, 2015 International Leadership Award by the US Green Building Council in Washington and was made an Honorary Fellow by the Planning Institute of Australia the same year. She has previously been named one of the ‘100 Women of Influence’ by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac, and a National and NSW winner of the Telstra Business Women’s Awards. In 2018 she was named one of Vogue Australia’s inaugural 100 Game Changers.Romilly is President of Bilgola Beach Surf Life Saving Club and is an active Life Saver.

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