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Transport Habits Targeted In Energy Strategy

Changing transport habits is critical in New Zealand¡¦s bid to cut energy waste and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Transport is one of the key sectors targeted in the Draft National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy launched today by Minister of Energy Pete Hodgson.

¡§Domestic transport accounts for 40 percent of New Zealand¡¦s total energy use and 42 percent of the country¡¦s carbon dioxide emissions,¡¨ he said.

¡§New Zealand¡¦s proportion of carbon dioxide emissions from domestic transport is the highest of any OECD country ¡V with the average being 30 percent.

¡§To reduce transport carbon dioxide emissions ¡V which grew by 32 percent between 1990 and 1999 - we need to encourage New Zealanders to make more energy efficient travel choices.¡¨

Average occupancy of vehicles is only 1.16 people and one third of all car trips are less than two kilometres. Under-utilising vehicles and using them when there are other more efficient options wastes energy and pollutes the environment.

Key transport aims of the Draft Strategy include:

„h Reducing travel demand by encouraging alternatives such as teleworking and ridesharing. Information and communication technology can substitute for travel, and Internet use, teleworking and video-conferencing could be stimulated as part of a broader move to a knowledge-based society. Wider adoption is suggested of existing Internet rideshare programmes that have generated significant savings in petrol, money and carbon dioxide emissions.

„h Increasing use of energy efficient and eco-efficient vehicles and fuels. Trials of new technologies such as hybrid vehicles and fuel cells, and developing fuel efficiency standards, are proposed to improve transport energy efficiency. Development of fuel efficiency standards ¡V subject to proposals this year as part of Government¡¦s climate change programme ¡V and possibly implementing energy standards for new and used imports, would lessen the environmental impact of vehicles.


„h Increasing use of low energy transport options such as walking, cycling and public transport. Getting children walking to school is one of the easiest ways to reduce car use. Thirty seven percent of Auckland and Wellington children are driven to school, with more than half these trips under two kilometres. One initiative to combat this is ¡¥walking school buses¡¦ where adults accompany groups of children on a walking route to school.


Ends

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