Tuesday, September 12, 2023

Climate Change: Reducing emissions makes us better off

Back in 2020, the Auckland Council committed to halve greenhouse gas emissions by 2030, and reduce them to net-zero by 2050. At the time this was seen as enormously expensive. But it turns out that it will make Aucklanders much better off:

Auckland could be more than $100 billion better off if it achieved it’s 2050 climate action goals, according to a new study commissioned by the council.

While the $43 billion cost in creating a lower-emission transport system would occur early in the period, the benefits, including $43b through improved health alone, would continue to rise further into the future.

The net benefit reached $111b by using modelling updated by Waka Kotahi, since the report was done.

...which sounds like a benefit-cost ratio much better than the average Auckland motorway. And they're not even counting the "productivity gains" Waka Kotahi uses to inflate those benefits, or the lower road toll from cyclists having better infrastructure. Instead, this is all from health benefits and reduced transport costs.

Of course, getting those benefits requires spending money. Auckland Transport is perfectly happy to do that (for much smaller benefits) when its for a megatruck motorway. Hopefully they won't drag their feet in this case.