Maintaining political momentum on an issue like climate change can be hard, public interest often glazing over at the frequent debate on emission targets and empty rhetoric.
But a young Auckland doctor and other activists are gaining real attention – and causing a few politicians to look over their shoulders – by focusing on specifics and possible solutions.
Dr Sudhvir Singh, 26, is the Auckland director for Generation Zero, a group of mostly young professionals promoting solutions to climate change through transport, energy and liveable cities.
Many Aucklanders will have seen the London Underground-style posters outlining the group’s transport vision, with rail, bus, light-rail and ferry routes stretching out through the Super City by 2030.
A plan for Wellington includes Copenhagen-style cycle networks and a smart car sharing system.
“We are very keen to be positive. A lot of climate change stuff can be quite depressing, so we are keen to show there are win-win solutions for New Zealand available right in front of us,” says Dr Singh, who works at Auckland City Hospital.
“The (transport) map is really cool, and it has excited a lot of people. But it’s backed up by a decent, detailed plan, working with transport experts.”
During the recent local elections, Generation Zero created candidates’ scorecards based on their positions on transport, urban planning (its members favour well-designed intensification over urban sprawl), cycling and climate change.
Mayoral and ward candidates had to prove they were passionate and understood the issues well.
– NZ Herald