Let's Talk - Climate Change

Let's Talk - Climate Change

It goes without saying that the past year has been a big one for most people with a lot of uncertainty and change taking over the normal day-to-day routines we had become so accustomed to. Change and uncertainty that looks set to continue for some time yet. But sometimes change can bring a different perspective to what our ‘new normal’ could actually look like. ‘Change’ is definitely one of the foundational aspects of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan, which speaks to the struggles of Tāwhirimātea, the primal ancestor associated with weather in the face of human induced climate change. Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri calls for a change in our response to climate change, a need to reframe, to reimagine, to reset and to shift from what has been a very human centred approach to climate response to one that is ecologically driven.

Auckland Council ended the year with a major achievement – on 8 December 2020 a digital version of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan was launched at a special Auckland Conversations event. We heard from a panel of experts who will be pushing to change some of the systems and structures from the past that are still playing out. The launch was a small celebration to mark a huge amount of effort by all those who were involved in the development of the plan. But we know this is just the beginning and there is much more work ahead, and more change to be made. Major shocks such as the COVID-19 pandemic and increasingly frequent extreme weather events, have highlighted key risks that need to be addressed and potential opportunities that can be realised through actioning Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri.

Following the launch of the digital version of the plan we caught up with Alec Tang, Auckland Council’s Chief Sustainability Officer (Acting) and Councillor Richard Hills, to have a further conversation about all things climate and change. 

This pre-recorded webinar is another way for us to share some more information with our audience as we delve into some of the big issues changing and impacting Auckland and Aucklanders. In this conversation, we dig a little bit deeper into what the Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri means for Auckland, what work is being done towards creating change and meeting our goals, and how Aucklanders can get involved in climate action and make a difference.

Please note: a copy of the transcript for this webinar will be uploaded shortly. 

Alec Tang

Chief Sustainability Officer, Auckland Council

Alec Tang is Auckland Council’s Acting Chief Sustainability Officer and leads a team focussed on creating a more sustainable, resilient and equitable Auckland. The Chief Sustainability Office works across Auckland Council’s diverse operations and alongside Auckland’s mana whenua, mataawaka, communities and businesses to deliver the system shifts required for this future, from infrastructure provision and service delivery through to funding and decision making. Most recently, the office has been focused on the development and implementation of Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland’s Climate Plan which sets a path for rapid decarbonisation, in line with the region’s 1.5°C commitment, whilst also preparing the region for the impacts of climate change. Alec is a Fellow of the Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment as well as a Chartered Environmentalist and has enjoyed a diverse career focussed on the delivery of sustainable solutions across business, academia and the public sector. 

Councillor Richard Hills

Environment and Climate Change Committee Chair, Auckland Council

Councillor Richard Hills is chair of the Environment and Climate Change Committee and North Shore ward Councillor. He is a second term councillor and, when elected, was the second youngest councillor in Auckland Council History. He is Auckland Council’s first rainbow councillor and belongs to Ngā Puhi.Councillor Hills’ priorities include people, public transport, climate change, youth, mental health, and the environment. He is currently leading Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri, the Auckland response to climate change.Prior to election as a councillor, Cr Hills spent two terms as a member of the Kaipātiki Local Board and was a youth worker, employed across health boards in Auckland.

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