School Strike 4 Climate NZ (SS4C NZ) welcomes the announcement of the proposed Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount as a step in the right direction in tangibly reducing emissions. SS4C NZ are aware that New Zealand has been one of only a few developed countries without vehicle emissions standards, and believe this is unacceptable in the face of the climate crisis.
“Climate change is the most pressing issue of our time and puts the future of our species, all ecosystems and the planet at risk. With our emissions still continuing to rise and transport accounting for 20% of our emissions profile, this sector requires urgent attention and we are glad to see the Government recognising this.” says Raven Maeder, a School Strike 4 Climate NZ organiser.
Currently buying EVs and clean cars is unaffordable for the majority of New Zealanders. Sophie Handford, from SS4C NZ, says “As young people, we want to see investments in the transport system of our future, and real action being taken now to reduce emissions as our future depends on it. We know that we have to reduce our emissions by 50% by 2030 to make the 1.5 degree target. Transport is our fastest growing emissions sector, so tackling this sector of emissions needs to happen now to safeguard the planet for future generations.”
With the proposed Clean Car Standard incentivising the supply of zero and low emission vehicles and the Clean Car Discount making clean cars a more affordable option for New Zealanders, SS4C NZ believes this is a great first step. “We know that increasing transport emissions are one of the reasons why household emissions continue to increase so this policy offers an opportunity for households to meaningfully reduce their carbon emissions.” says Raven Maeder. “Families should have the chance to choose a vehicle that doesn’t put our future at risk.”
However, SS4C NZ are concerned that the Clean Car Standard would not apply to the re-sale of existing vehicle fleet, which accounts for the majority of annual vehicle sales. SS4C NZ believe that all vehicle sales should be affected by this Standard, as we need to drastically reduce our emissions by 2030 and therefore must be putting in place a plan to fully phase out diesel and petrol vehicles.
SS4C NZ is calling for significant and urgent emissions reductions in all sectors, and welcome this announcement as a good start. However, “we demand that action must go further to safeguard our future and the future generations of New Zealanders” says Raven.