New transport strategy sets a bold pathway to a resilient, low-carbon future

  • Published Date 25 Jun 2024
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A new strategy released by Greater Wellington sets out a pathway to a low-carbon, resilient future, and the urgent action required to get there.

The Wellington Regional Transport Emissions Reduction Pathway, a collaborative initiative between the nine councils of the region, provides a long-term strategic approach to transforming our transport system, and ultimately the way we design our towns and cities.

Greater Wellington regional councillor and chair of the Regional Transport Committee Adrienne Staples says road transport is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Road transport is responsible for 39 percent of our total national carbon dioxide emissions,” says Cr Staples.

“If we are going to meet the national goal of net zero emissions by 2050, we urgently need to tackle transport emissions. As councils of the region, we’re not shying away from this responsibility – to our community, to the planet, and to future generations – but we all have a part to play.”

The Pathway has two ambitious goals: to reduce the amount of passenger vehicle kilometres per person by 25% by 2035, and to reduce all road transport-generated carbon emissions by 35% by 2030.

A major focus of the Pathway is increased transport choice through reliable public transport and active travel, reducing our dependence on private vehicles.  

“Doing this right means we don’t just reduce emissions; these actions will also lead to cleaner air, less congested and safer roads, and all at a lower cost because we will be building more mixed-use, compact communities in the places where public and active transport infrastructure already exists,” Staples says.

A recently commissioned study by Greater Wellington found that higher density development near city and town centres leads to lower per-dwelling infrastructure costs, especially for transport.

But new, more compact and sustainable urban form cannot happen overnight – the Pathway shows what actions need to be taken in the shorter term to create more choice and resilience in our transport system, and reduce emissions as well as our reliance on fossil fuels.

Wellington City Councillor Iona Pannett describes the Pathway as a “bold strategy based on rigorous modelling and sound evidence”.   

“The analysis we have done for this Pathway points to a need for bold and urgent action to safeguard a climate-resilient future.

“Now, we need our community and partners to support the vision and hold us all accountable to achieve it,” says Cr Pannett. 

“The headwinds may be strong at the moment, but this highlights all the more the need for a clear vision and pathway for action, and this strategy delivers on this,” adds Cr Staples.

View the pathway:

Updated July 11, 2024 at 4:13 PM

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