New Zealand announces measures to decarbonize, combat climate change

Sydney, Australia, May 16 (EFE).- The New Zealand government on Monday announced a raft of measures to decarbonize the country and combat climate change, with packages affecting a wide range of industries such as transport, agriculture and electricity generation.

“This is a landmark day in our transition to a low emissions future,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.

“We’ve all seen the recent reports on sea level rise and its impact right here in New Zealand. We cannot leave the issue of climate change until it’s too late to fix.”

The measures are part of a NZ$2.9 billion ($1.82 billion) plan to implement policies that will reduce emissions in New Zealand over the next four years, especially in the transport sector.

“Emissions from our energy and industry sectors make up 27 percent of our total emissions. That’s why we are committing to significantly expanding the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund,” said Minister of Energy and Resources, Megan Woods.

As part of this plan, the government will launch a leasing system for low-emission vehicles for low-income families from next year, in addition to improving access to public transport and pedestrian and cycle paths.

The government, which aims for New Zealand to be carbon neutral by 2050, also intends for 30 percent of its light vehicles to be zero emissions and the entire public transport fleet to be decarbonized by 2035.

“This is expected to reduce carbon emissions equivalent to taking 181,000 cars off the road between now and 2035,” Climate Change Minister James Shaw said in a separate statement.

In the agriculture sector, the government will promote technological development to reduce emissions, help the forestry sector in programs for carbon capture and the use of woody biomass as an alternative to coal.

Meanwhile, in the energy sector, it will develop strategies for decarbonization in electricity generation.

The government of New Zealand, which declared a climate emergency in December 2020, has committed to implementing one of the most ambitious plans in the world to reduce emissions with the objective to prevent a global temperature rise of more than 1.5 degrees Celsius. EFE


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