Climate Change and Energy
Last updated on
16/05/2013 9:57 a.m.
Greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector make up about 20 percent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions each year (see New Zealand’s national inventory). Transport also represents over 40 percent of New Zealand’s greenhouse gases from the energy sector.
Summary of the Transport Climate Change Work programme
The Ministry of Transport's climate change work programme includes contributions to the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme, biofuels, electric vehicles, other alternative fuels and technologies and the energy efficiency of commercial fleets.
- Emissions Trading Scheme: The transport (liquid fossil fuels) sector is covered by the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.
- Electric Vehicles: To recognise the role that new technology will play in assisting with the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector, the government has committed to an exemption from Road User Charges for electric vehicles until 2020. The Road User Charges Amendment Bill has been amended to give effect to this policy.
- Other alternative fuels and technologies: The government is investigating the potential of second generation transport fuels derived from diverse non-food based renewable sources such as biomass, woody biomass and landfill gas.
- The Heavy Vehicle Fuel Efficiency Programme: The heavy vehicle fleet is responsible for 20 percent of the energy used for domestic transport. On 21 September 2012 the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) launched a programme for improving heavy vehicle fuel efficiency. The programme will potentially reduce fuel costs for the freight industry by 7.5 percent by building on the existing SAFED (Safe and Fuel Efficient Driving) and by addressing barriers to its uptake. The programme provides short courses to train industry professionals who can then assist freight companies to implement the programme and financial assistance for freight companies in recognition of the slim profit margins many operate under. It has also set up a website that provides comprehensive advice for the freight industry on implementing a range of strategies for improving fuel efficiency. More information can be found on the SAFED NZ website.
- Fuel Economy: The government has also introduced a requirement for the fuel economy of vehicles to be displayed at their time of sale and has created a FuelSaver website where the public can compare fuel efficiency of vehicles.
Diversity of energy sources will help to build resilience in the transport sector to potential future oil supply constraints and also contribute to lowering greenhouse gas emissions from the transport sector.
Policy documents - Vehicle Fuel Economy Standard
In August 2009, the Minister of Transport announced the government’s decision not to progress with work on a regulated Vehicle Fuel Economy Standard. Read the Minister of Transport’s announcement on the beehive website. The August 2009 Vehicle Fuel Economy Standard Cabinet Paper (PDF v7.0, 82.8kb) and the associated Cabinet minute (PDF v7.0, 548kb) set out the reasons for not proceeding with a regulated mandatory fuel economy standard.