Saturday, December 4

Emissions document: decisions needed, not consultations – motor trade boss

Fewer cars on the roads, more electric vehicles, mass rapid transit in big cities and congestion fees – A lengthy consultation paper aimed at cutting the country’s carbon emissions has some very familiar ideas behind it, industry representatives say.

Purchase of electric vehicles.

The transition to carbon neutral New Zealand has run into obstacles and work is under way to overcome the problems.
Photo: RNZ

Today, Climate Change Minister James Shaw unveiled a lengthy consultation document aimed at reducing the country’s carbon emissions in line with its obligations to reach net zero by 2050.

Everything is in place before the long-awaited Emissions Reduction Plan that will be presented in May next year.

But time is running out for the government, with models showing that if nothing changes, the country will produce 7.7 million tons more carbon than it would like over the next four years.

The transport sector will be doing much of the heavy lifting to get New Zealand over the line, and the paper will solicit comments on a proposal to reduce the distances traveled by light vehicles by 20 percent and increase the number of electric vehicles to compensate. . 30 pct of the total fleet by 2035.

In the same period, it has also submitted a proposal to reduce freight transport emissions by 25 percent and the intensity of transport fuel emissions by 15 percent.

The list continues with proposals around better city planning to encourage walking and cycling, public transportation, improved access to schools and electric bikes, enabling congestion charges, a scrapping system for vehicles to help get rid of the old fleet, a biofuel and manufacturing mandate. There is a safe regulation in place to prevent Aotearoa from becoming a dump for high-emission vehicles from other countries.

Transportation is the second largest source of emissions in the country and produces 43 percent of total emissions. The document showed that it was on track to meet its short-term emissions targets, but was not well set up for the long term.

Greater Auckland Director Matt Lowrie said it would be the big cities that would lift their socks to make the change.

“It will be much more difficult to reduce rural kilometers [because] there are longer distances to travel and that means that most of the reduction in people who travel or who change the way they travel will have to come from our cities.

“And that means getting people on their bikes, getting people on public transportation and making people who don’t travel at all, in some cases, live closer to where, where their jobs and other amenities are.” .

The Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw, launches a discussion document on the emission reduction plan.

Climate Minister James Shaw
Photo: Pool / Things / Robert Kitchin

He said that changing the way people travel would not only generate benefits related to carbon emissions.

“A 20 percent reduction in travel [overall] it probably means a 40 to 60 percent reduction in travel in many of our cities, so there are far fewer people on our roads, which means freight travels more easily … and there are also fewer accidents. “

The sustainable biofuels mandate would mean that suppliers would reduce emissions from the transportation fuels they supply by a set percentage each year.

Gull CEO Dave Bodger said they had been receiving a subsidy to produce a 98-octane biofuel for years, but refined oil was ultimately cheaper.

“Rightly or wrongly, there is no cheaper energy in the world than a cup of hydrocarbon that started out as crude oil. It is the cheapest way for people to be mobile.”

“So people have to pay more for a change in the way we move and we have to do it, don’t get me wrong, but it’s more expensive and nobody wants to pay more.”

He said the mandate would force the market and consumers to support biofuels, which along with other changes would help meet the government’s goal of reducing emissions from transportation by 41 percent by 2035.

The executive director of the Motor Trade Association, Craig Pomare, was on board with the biofuels mandate and also said that the proposal for a vehicle scrapping scheme, because it was something that previous consultations had not raised.

“Nothing in the report from the Climate Change Commission really looked at the existing fleet, it was about new arrivals … and scrapping is part of that puzzle.

“We have been promoting a sum of around $ 2000. Because $ 2000 makes a real difference to people thinking about whether I should change my car? Is it enough to make me want to change to something better?”

However, what he really wanted were some tough decisions.

“In the last year we made presentations to the Climate Change Commission, the biofuels mandate, the future paths of the Ministry of Transport and here is another consultation document.

“We have said that it is time for rubber to hit the road and we have some real details so that we can prepare the industry for these changes, rather than sitting around waiting for more consultations.”

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