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Environment and Sustainability New Zealand

NZ pushes for a carbon-neutral public sector with over 400 electric vehicles

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New Zealand’s goal of creating a carbon-neutral public sector by 2025 gains progress as over 400 electric vehicles have been introduced. 

“Today’s announcement is a significant step towards our goal of carbon neutrality in the public sector within five years,” Minister of Climate Change James Shaw said. 

By introducing 422 electric vehicles to the state sector fleet, New Zealand’s carbon emissions will be reduced by around 11,600 tonnes over the next ten years.  

Minister Shaw also said the conversion of Government fleets will increase the demand for electric vehicles in the second-hand market, thus making them more accessible for everyone. 

The $13.1 million funding for the electric vehicles and their charging infrastructure will come from the $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund, administered by Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority. 

The $200 million State Sector Decarbonisation Fund is a key tool for supporting public sector agencies to be carbon neutral by 2025. 

“I think if you ask most people working for Government agencies, they’ll tell you that when they get back from a day visiting a conservation site benefiting from the Government’s jobs for nature funding, or from seeing a family living in a new Kāinga Ora home, they’d prefer to refuel for the next day with electricity, rather than petrol,” Minister Shaw said. 

“Thanks to today’s announcement, this will soon be the case for many more of our essential public sector workers. It will also mean these trips are helping meet the Government’s emission reduction targets.” 

Acting Conservation Minister Ayesha Verrall said it was crucial that New Zealand continues its goal in regards to reducing transport emissions. The Department of Conservation is cutting down carbon emissions to meet the government’s expectation of a carbon-neutral operating model by 2025. 

“The funding will help DOC to remove 490 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per annum from its vehicle fleet emissions profile. That’s a 19% reduction over DOC’s vehicle fleet emissions compared to the 2018/19 financial year. Combined with other DOC vehicle emission reduction programmes, the total projected reduction is 26% once all the electric vehicles are on road,” Minister Verrall said. 

The Carbon Neutral Government Programme was announced in 2020. The Programme requires government agencies to measure and publicly report on their emissions and to offset what they cannot cut down by 2025. 

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