Tue, 18 May 2021

New Zealand delivers next phase of climate action

08 Apr 2021, 11:05 GMT+10

WELLINGTON, April 8 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government on Thursday delivered on a key election commitment to tackling climate change by banning new low and medium temperature coal-fired boilers and partnering with the private sector to help it transit away from fossil fuels.

This is the first major announcement to follow the release of the climate change commission's draft package of advice to the government in February.

"Today's announcements will make a real difference to New Zealand's emissions profile, and are a significant boost to our clean energy sector, helping us on our path to a cleaner, smarter economy," Minister of Energy and Resources Megan Woods said.

The ban on new coal boilers used in manufacturing and production will come into effect by Dec. 31 this year. An option proposed is to also prohibit other new fossil fuel boilers where suitable alternative technology exists and it is economically viable.

The New Zealand government is also proposing to phase out existing coal boilers by 2037. In addition, consideration is being given to how to phase out other fossil fuels in existing sites through re-consenting processes and best practice requirements in a national environment standard.

"The amount of coal displaced by these proposals equates to about 500,000 tonnes each year. Once the changes are fully in place it will mean the equivalent of between 400,000 to 550,000 cars being removed from our roads in a single year," the minister said.

Environment minister David Parker said both the decarbonization fund and the coal boiler initiatives were helping reduce emissions in the manufacturing and production sector.

"Fuel used in manufacturing and production - known as process heat - generates about 8 percent of New Zealand's emissions and is the second largest source of energy-related emissions after transport."

"Decarbonizing process heat is one of the biggest opportunities for New Zealand to reduce its domestic energy emissions, and will make a significant contribution to New Zealand's 2050 net zero carbon target," said the minister.

Climate change minister James Shaw said with the announcement, the government had taken another necessary step on the road towards a low emissions economy for New Zealand.

"By working with industry to switch from burning coal to clean alternatives we are helping to ensure a better, cleaner future for our children and grandchildren," the minister said.

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