• Andrew Byrne

New Zealand cleans up its act

Updated: Aug 5, 2020

New Zealand continues to address concerns over the climate crisis through a July announcement from James Shaw, the New Zealand climate change minister and co-leader of the Green Party, on the latest projects to receive government funding from a NZ$200 million (£103.6 million) “clean-powered public service fund”.

Shaw described an upgrading of public services to run on clean energy as central to what “the government is doing to create jobs and tackle the climate crisis” and stressed that a series of projects will be implemented to ensure “climate-friendly energy solutions are a part of our everyday lives”.

The first tranche of projects were announced in January and the latest to be green-lighted are (all amounts are NZ$):

  • $15.5m ($6.2 m from the fund) replacement of a coal boiler at the University of Canterbury with a biomass boiler which is estimated to reduce carbon emissions by 9,000 tonnes a year.

  • $3.2m ($1.3m from the fund) replacement of heating and cooling equipment with low-emissions alternatives for Auckland University of Technology reducing carbon emissions by 480 tonnes a year.

  • $9.6m ($3.8 from the fund) replacement of a coal boiler with a heat pump for the New Zealand Defence Force which will reduce carbon emissions by almost 5,000 tonnes a year.

  • $2m (half from the fund) replacement of Inland Revenue car fleet with electric vehicles.

  • $0.6m (half from the fund) for replacement of heating and cooling equipment at Lakes District Health Board and MidCentral District Health Board.

In total, the projects will reduce state sector carbon emissions by almost 15,000 tonnes which equates to taking 6,000 petrol vehicles out of circulation with more clean energy projects slated to benefit from the fund.

Add these to the bill passed in November which commits to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, a ban on new offshore oil and gas exploration permits and a commitment to planting a billion trees by 2028 and it is evident that New Zealand is at the forefront of promoting clean energy.

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