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Greenpeace Welcomes Greens’ Transport Policy, Calls For Climate To Be Bottom Line

Tuesday, 29 September: Greenpeace has welcomed the Green Party’s transport policy announced today, but is seeking assurances that the Greens will make clean transport a bottom line in any potential coalition agreement.

The Greens are promising to invest $1.5 billion in cycling, alongside a sizable programme of intercity passenger rail, busways and commuter rail infrastructure. They have pledged to ban the import of new fossil fuel vehicles, most likely by 2030. They will also introduce the "feebate" scheme and minimum fuel efficiency standards.

Greenpeace climate and energy campaigner, Amanda Larsson, welcomed the announcement, saying:

"Transport is New Zealand’s fastest growing source of carbon emissions, and it’s easy to see why when we’re importing around 60 gas guzzling SUVs and double-cab utes for every electric car.

"It’s good to see that the Greens will ban the import of new petrol and diesel vehicles, and instead invest significantly in alternatives like cycling, buses, inter-city rail and electric vehicles.

"We’re in a climate crisis. The world is literally burning with wildfires raging in California less than a year after the Australian bushfires covered New Zealand in an apocalyptic red haze. We urgently need to stop pumping carbon into the atmosphere.

"Making it easy for people to ride a bike locally or get a train between cities is key to cutting our carbon pollution, improving mobility and improving health. We need accessible, convenient and affordable transport options so that people don’t have to rely on cars to get to work or school."

While Greenpeace has applauded the policy, Larsson says they still need convincing that the Green Party’s ambitious wishlist of transport initiatives will translate into action, should the Greens form part of the next Government.

"The Green Party needs to assure New Zealanders that they will make climate change and clean transport a bottom line in negotiating any potential coalition agreement.

"This term we’ve seen a number of strong Green Party policies go off the rails, notably the promised electric vehicle ‘feebate’, which is now back on the table. Climate change doesn’t negotiate. We need political leaders that will stand firm in their commitment to safeguard the natural world that we all depend on."

Greenpeace is calling on all political parties to commit to using the Covid-19 recovery as a springboard from which to build back better and address the worsening climate and environmental crises.

"As we invest in creating jobs to address the impacts of the pandemic, we have a unique opportunity to build back better," says Larsson.

"With billions of dollars of Covid Recovery funds on the table, there couldn’t be a better time to build modern, accessible and convenient low-carbon transport infrastructure.

"Today’s young people will need to deal with the debt from our economic response to Covid-19. We must build back in ways that create a more secure and resilient future for our children."

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