The Government wants more low-emissions cars in its fleet and clean alternatives to replace coal burners in schools and hospitals in a move to cut carbon emissions by 76,000 tonnes over 10 years.
Climate Change Minister James Shaw today made a pre-Budget announcement for $67.4 million over four years to support the Government's promise for a carbon neutral public sector by 2025.
The bulk of it - $41.8 million - is for leasing low-emissions vehicles across the public sector, which follows the Government abandoning its previous target of having an emissions-free fleet by 2025/26.
The State Sector Decarbonisation Fund will also be boosted by $19.5 million so schools, hospitals and other government organisations can replace coal boilers.
Shaw said this would lead to more energy-efficient buildings, students in classrooms powered by clean energy rather than coal, and social workers and midwives visiting people in electric vehicles.
"Is it enough? No. And it never will be. There will always be more to do."
Shaw said cutting emissions to reach net zero was a "marathon effort" involving every part of government, the economy, and the wider community.
He is expecting the Climate Change Commission's final recommendations in the weeks following the Budget, which would lead to an emissions reduction plan and emissions budgets to 2025, 2030 and 2035 encompassing energy, transport, agriculture, construction, financial services and waste.
He noted that there was a "sequencing issue", given the recommendations come after next week's Budget, but he was confident there would still be enough money in the Government's coffers to be able to properly respond to the recommendations.
Budget 2021 will "signal a direction consistent with what we need to do", he said.
"In some ways Covid-19 has opened up new possibilities. When you are facing a crisis you can marshall the resources necessary to get you through it.
"If we can apply some of that thinking to the climate crisis, we've got the opportunity to marshall the resources necessary."
Earlier this week Shaw announced $13.1 million to buy 422 electric vehicles across he state sector over the next 10 years.
That includes $5.1 million for the Department of Conservation to buy 148 electric vehicles and $1.1 million for Kāinga Ora to buy 40 electric vehicles.
It was also revealed that the Department of Conservation has been charging one of its hybrid electric vehicles - on Stewart Island - with power from a diesel generator.
DoC said it was looking into solar options for Stewart Island.
The Government has also released Hīkina te Kohupara - Kia mauri ora ai te iwi - Transport Emissions: Pathways to Net Zero by 2050, a Ministry of Transport report outlining potential policies and pathways to a net zero emission transport sector.
It floats the banning of importing petrol and diesel cars by 2035 so New Zealand does not become a dumping ground for old cars.
It is part of a high-level look at how New Zealand's transport system could reduce its emissions to zero by 2050. Transport currently makes up about half the country's emissions.
The Government said it wants a "national conversation" about the changes needed to reduce transport sector greenhouse gas emissions.
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