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A new study has put Auckland at the top of the world for the speed at which it’s going green.
The Bionic rankings look at 40 of the world’s most populated cities across the world, scoring them on 13 different metrics, such as pollution levels, electric vehicle uptake, annual plastic waste, renewable energy usage and meat consumption.
Tāmaki Makaurau scored 78.1 out of 100 in the index, ahead of Stockholm and Lyon in second and third place. Copenhagen and Dublin rounded out the top five.
But for a so-called green city, Auckland’s plastic waste was nearly through the roof at 177,314 tonnes per year, especially when compared to the Swedish capital’s waste of just 26,996 tonnes. Out of the top 10 cities, only Cologne and Dublin had more annual plastic waste than Auckland.
The study used data from OurWorldInData to look at the percentage of the cities that were covered in forest, how much that had changed since 1990 and the amount of the world’s mismanaged plastic waste each city is accountable for.
It also looked at job website Indeed, to find out which cities had the most sustainable jobs advertised – according to the study, Auckland had 21 jobs in the sustainability industry per 100 people.
In the rankings, Auckland was revealed as having the lowest air pollution score of all the top 10 cities analysed, with an air quality score of just 9 (0-50 is considered good, 150+ not good), compared to second-placed Stockholm’s whopping 132. Lyon’s air quality level was rated at 43.
The study showed Auckland had lowered its carbon footprint to 5.9 metric tonnes, and had a 6% increase in forest-covered areas in the city since 1990.
Auckland’s average meat consumption was 34,435 tonnes, compared to around 40,000 tonnes for Stockholm and Lyon, but Auckland had higher poultry consumption. Average milk consumption was 226,784 tonnes, compared to Stockholm’s 572,942 tonnes.
The world city with the lowest air pollution was Sydney, with a level of 3, although the city ranked overall at 24, due to its low percentage of renewable energy, land covered by forest, and sustainable jobs advertised.
Of all the capital cities studied, Sao Paulo in Brazil came out top of the world for the highest percentage of renewable energy, with 45% coming from sustainable sources.
The city is still covered by 59% of forest, but due to climate change, that figure has been decreasing rapidly, with 16% of forest lost since 1990.
Auckland’s not the only New Zealand city to be noticed for going green. Lonely Planet named Wellington as one of the top eco-cities in the world in its new Sustainable Travel Handbook.
“With the lowest emissions per capita of any Australasian city, Wellington is at the forefront of the movement. Packed with world-class cultural institutions, eco-conscious cafes (many of which operate ‘mug libraries’), the compact capital is best explored on foot,” the writers said.
Lonely Planet also named Auckland the best city in the world to travel to in 2022, praising the city’s “considerable natural assets” – including its 53 volcanoes, more than 50 islands, three wine regions and numerous beaches – and “blossoming” cultural scene in the months before the Delta outbreak.
Source StuffJune 10, 2022