What’s this about?
He Pou a Rangi - the Climate Change Commission, set up under the Zero Carbon Act, has released its draft recommendations to the Government on what actions the Government should take to reduce New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions in line with our international commitments.
Commission staff have done a huge amount of work in a very short time, and Living Streets Aotearoa is grateful for that. But when it comes to transport, we think the Commission has failed to recognise the significant contribution that walking can make, especially in our cities, to transport emissions reductions. It’s also failed to recognise the health and wellbeing benefits that flow from removing barriers to walking and creating better links between walking and public transport.
How to submit
Submissions close on 28 March. If you want to submit on all or many of the topics the Commission has covered, then we encourage you to use the full submission process. Check out this helpful submission guide from Generation Zero and other allied groups.
If you just want to submit on walking, or don’t want to go through the full submission form, then we suggest you email your submission directly to firstname.lastname@example.org
What to say
Here’s some points it would be good to include in your submission. You can find much more detailed, referenced points in Living Streets Aotearoa's submission to the Climate Change Commission.
- Right now, our streets are dominated by cars, and that means everything else tends to end up on the footpath, making life difficult for many pedestrians and people with disabilities. More people will choose to walk if we make footpaths safer and less cluttered. Tell the Commission to recommend investment in safe footpaths for people on foot and users of low-speed mobility devices, and investment in safe, separated cycle lanes for bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters.
- Follow the Irish Government’s example: Allocate 10% of the total transport capital budget for pedestrian infrastructure, and a further separate 10% for cycling projects. (Here’s Ireland’s policy.)
- Tell the Commission to pay more attention to the health and well-being benefits walking brings. Sitting in an electric car is still sitting in a car. By encouraging walking and cycling, we can not only reduce emissions, but improve public and personal health.
- Safety isn’t just about the risk from fast-moving objects. Encourage the Commission to recommend more expenditure in ensuring that footpaths are well-lit, feel safe to use and are safe to walk on.
- Walking works well when combined with public transport. Tell the Commission to encourage Councils to create better, safer walking connections between where people live, work, shop and go to school, and public transport routes.
- Our cities can and should be places where nature flourishes. Let’s make as many footpaths as possible greenways, not concrete jungles.
Why should I bother submitting?
Good question! Here’s why: because once the CCC completes its recommendations, the Government is legally required to pay attention to them, and they are likely to shape significant areas of Government policy. There’s a real risk that the Government will conclude that all it has to do on transport is swap one type of car for another, and then pour more billions into new motorways.
So if you think walking is important and that pedestrians deserve safe, well-maintained, uncluttered footpaths, don’t delay - say so now.
Remember: submissions close on Sunday 28 March.