WELLINGTON, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The New Zealand government is committed to delivering a carbon neutral public sector as part of its plan to address climate issues, Minister for Climate Change James Shaw said in a pre-budget announcement on Sunday.
According to the announcement, a total of 67.4 million New Zealand dollars (48.8 million U.S. dollars) will be allocated over four years to achieve the Carbon Neutral Government Program by 2025. This includes a significant boost of 19.5 million New Zealand dollars to the State Sector Decarbonisation Fund, and 41.8 million New Zealand dollars for leasing low-emissions vehicles.
"A carbon neutral public sector is a key part of the New Zealand government's plan to address the climate emergency," Shaw said.
The State Sector Decarbonisation Fund has committed funding for 422 electric vehicles and charging infrastructure; and clean energy upgrades at 36 schools, seven universities and 10 hospitals, according to the announcement.
The additional funding for the State Sector Decarbonisation Fund means that more coal boilers in schools and hospitals will be replaced, which will save an additional 44,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 10 years; while leasing of low-emissions vehicles across the public sector will save a further 32,000 tonnes of carbon emissions over 10 years, according to Shaw.
"We're in a position where we can think ahead to the type of public sector we want for future generations. The choice we are making in Budget 2021 is to pass on to our children and grandchildren a world that is better for what we did," said Shaw.
Over the last three budgets, the New Zealand government has made significant investments in New Zealand's low-carbon future, including climate-friendly transport options.