I'm shocked. I had been expecting the new transport plan for Auckland would signal the Government had turned a corner. That, for the first time, the city's transport planning would result in a net decrease in carbon emissions.
That's what Transport Minister Michael Wood claimed when he announced the plan at Manukau Bus Station today. "New Zealand's first carbon budget for transport", he called it.
"The first plan that will lead to a reduction in emissions," he said.
In fact, as he knows, because it's written in the plan itself, it will lead to a 6 per cent increase in carbon emissions by 2031.
That's shameful. It's only a few weeks since the Climate Change Commission warned us the need to lower transport emissions is critical and urgent. How could the Government have got this so wrong?
The figure Wood was keen to promote is that emissions will fall by "13 per cent per capita" by 2031.
But that's not relevant. The targets we've signed up for under the Paris Agreement don't let us off the hook because of population growth.
This is the most important climate issue facing the city. Transport contributes 20 per cent of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions but in Auckland it's 40 per cent. We'll make no progress if we don't reduce that figure savagely within the next 10 years.
Analyst Paul Winton, among others, believes that for New Zealand to do its bit to help keep global warming within 1.5C by 2030, Auckland's transport emissions by then should be close to zero.
There's more at stake than just our own cars. Aucklanders have no right to expect dairy farmers to reduce herd emissions if we are not prepared to match them with transport changes in the city. The Government itself has no right to ask it either, if it is not also asking city dwellers to do the same.
The main reason the new plan is so flawed is that it doesn't touch the big roading projects announced at the beginning of 2020. That was the moment when Finance Minister Grant Robertson locked the country into rising transport emissions.
I'm told council negotiators for this new plan discovered they could do nothing about those roads.
The plan tries to disguise this by talking about a "net" figure. There's a focus on public and active transport, which will reduce emissions. But that won't offset the emissions damage done by the new roads and the extra road use they will generate.
The new plan could have confronted this by creating a climate filter, as proposed by the Climate Change Commission. Every transport project would be put through it: if it's not going to help lower emissions, it shouldn't happen.
But that filter is nowhere in evidence.
At the launch, Wood and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff made much of the extra spending on public and active transport. Goff said it was the first time such things were being seriously addressed.
But he's wrong. Compared to the last version of the Auckland Transport Plan, in 2018, this new one has reduced spending on rapid transport, buses and ferries by $360 million. Spending on roads will rise by $367m.
The 2018 plan anticipated that by 2030, 37.5 per cent of trips would be made by public or active transport. The new plan reduces that to 29 per cent, and only for the morning peak. It will be lower again at other times.
Matt Lowrie from Greater Auckland says the targeted increase in public transport use by 2031 is less than what it was under Len Brown in 2012. Then, the aim was to reach 170 million trips by 2021. Now, the aim is for 150 million by 2031.
The plan to double spending on cycleways, coming off a low base, is also far from adequate.
Goff should be profoundly embarrassed by all this. Last year his council adopted its own bold new climate plan for Auckland, called Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri. It commits the whole city to a 50 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2031.
The new accord with Government makes a mockery of that target.
I asked Goff why he wasn't worried the plan means a net increase in emissions, and he said, "Because it won't".
Wood agreed. Both of them said a range of other initiatives, still to be announced, will help bring emissions down. That seems odd. Is this the plan or not?
Goff: "My support for this plan is premised on a range of other decisions to come".
What decisions? Wood revealed that an announcement on light rail for Auckland will be made next month. It's not covered in the new plan.
Is he suggesting light rail will be a game changer? If so, why isn't it a cornerstone of the new transport plan?
Praise, though, for the decision to make public transport half-price for most beneficiaries and many people on a Working for Families grant.
But it isn't, as Goff said, "another case of Auckland leading the country". Just this week, Environment Canterbury voted to make buses in the greater Christchurch area free in a two-year trial, starting next year.
Bold thinking like that is what leading the country looks like.