Submission to the Clean Car proposal

This is the submission the Trust made to the Clean Car Package proposals:-

 

The Better NZ Trust is very much in favour of NZ adopting the Clean Car Package proposed in this Amendment Bill. However we suggest that the proposed annual emission targets within this legislation could and should be more ambitious. The time for slow and steady action has passed; we acknowledge that ambitious targets will mean that many elements of our society will feel some of the pain.

For Type A vehicles we feel that the initial figure of 145 gm/km from January 2023 is just not low enough to achieve the emissions reductions we seek.  The new figures are less drastic than those offered in the 2019 proposal, and the Trust would suggest that such weaker target figures cannot help but drag out the transition we need.

Please return to the 2019 proposed figures for emission targets in the transport sector – or better if possible.

 

We make the following points:-

Greater urgency

Only by creating a sense of urgency will the population of NZ help deliver the action plan required. Other countries have demonstrated that, once committed and using a combination of carrot and stick, CO2 emissions can be reduced significantly.  However, understanding that NZ has a peculiar set of circumstances that preclude us following the Norwegian reduction path slavishly, we still need criteria that shift the balance from fossil fuelled vehicles to electric as quickly as possible.  

Reputational damage

NZ is in the company of Australia and Russia as the only countries in the OECD which currently do not have any transport emission standards;  this surely erodes our ‘clean and green’ reputation overseas.  Our COP15 undertaking was to reduce our CO2 emissions by 30%, from the 2005 level, by the year 2030.

Our import profile

We have been used to the import of second -hand cars from Japan for many years, many of which are 5-10 years old.  So we could take note of their strategy;  Japan has undertaken a significant reduction of transport-based CO2 emissions over the past decade reaching their target of 122gm/km in 2013 when they had proposed getting to this figure by 2020.  

Their next goal had been to reduce by 26% their emissions from the 2013 figure (using the NEDC test cycle), but in April 2021 that percentage reduction was increased to 46% as it was looking increasingly unlikely Japan would reach their stated goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 without such a move. We need to be as bold, if not bolder.

Air quality

The 2020 Lockdown in NZ demonstrated just how the burning of fossil fuels affects our air quality when fewer vehicles were on the roads, and it has been proven that the rates of asthma and other lung diseases reduced significantly when the air was demonstrably cleaner!  The Asthma Foundation shows that 1 in 8 adults and 1 in 7 children take medication for asthma and related disease (a total of 600,000).  The cost of asthma to the nation is over $1 billion/year.


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