New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces faster adoption of electric vehicles and push for hydrogen to reduce emissions

The government will step up efforts to decarbonize transport, aiming for at least 30% of the country’s light-duty vehicle fleet to be electric by 2035.

It will continue to offer a clean vehicle rebate to encourage the purchase of low-emission cars, invest in electric vehicle charging infrastructure and help low- and middle-income households purchase an electric car. they scrap their old gas-guzzling car. It will also test an electric vehicle rental program.

Landfill Reduction Push

It aims to decarbonize the entire public transport fleet by 2035.

Efforts will be made to reduce waste going to landfill, with most households having access to curbside food waste collection by 2030.

The government will also ban new low- and medium-temperature coal-fired boilers and phase out existing ones by 2037.

New Zealand’s economy relies on agriculture, particularly cows and sheep whose methane emissions are a major contributor to global warming.

The government has said it will establish a Center for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, which will accelerate research and development of products that help reduce greenhouse gases on the farm.

It will also invest in tree planting to boost carbon sequestration and work with major users of thermal energy to help them switch to renewable sources.

Hydrogen roadmap

Funds will be allocated to develop a comprehensive energy strategy, including a hydrogen roadmap and the creation of a regulatory framework for offshore wind energy.

“Hydrogen as a fuel could enable the decarbonisation of hard-to-electrify sectors such as heavy freight and steel,” the government said.

“The roadmap will provide the nascent green hydrogen sector with more clarity on how the government will support a path to an economically sustainable market for hydrogen.”

The initiatives will be funded by a NZ$4.5 billion climate emergency response fund, which is backed by proceeds from the national emissions trading scheme. Last week the government set targets for reducing greenhouse gases over the next 14 years as part of its goal to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Three emissions budgets will serve as stepping stones towards the 2050 goal.

Ms Ardern said tackling climate change could drive down the cost of living – a key political theme as the country grapples with the fastest pace of inflation in more than 30 years.

“Reducing our dependence on fossil fuels will protect households from the volatility of international price hikes while lowering transportation and energy bills,” she said.

“Households are already seeing the impact of rising oil prices and this plan sets out practical ways to reduce electricity, transport and other costs by taking climate-friendly measures.”


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