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Core Government Departments Leading The Way In Emissions Reduction

The Carbon Neutral Government Programme (CNGP) has reached a significant milestone with results now available from the first year of annual reporting by 39 public sector organisations.

The Carbon Neutral Government Programme was announced by the New Zealand Government in December 2020 in to accelerate emissions reductions in the public sector.

Results from the first year of reporting show that, collectively, core government departments have reduced their emissions by 19% (73,000 tCO2e) since baselines were measured – equivalent to taking 27,000 cars off the road for a year.

Thirty-nine government departments and departmental agencies organisations make up Tranche 1 of the CNGP. For many of them, this milestone marks their first time measuring their emissions and creating emissions reduction plans.

Although the emission reductions achieved during the last financial year are largely attributed to COVID-19 restrictions and border closures, many organisations are proactively managing ways to prevent a return to pre-pandemic levels. This includes reviewing travel policies and investing in technology to enable virtual meetings.

Organisations are also progressing work to decarbonise vehicle fleets. The percentage of EVs is now 10.16% of the government light vehicle fleet, an increase of 8.56% (from 1.6%) since the programme began in December 2020. The increase in EVs consists of 1,025 BEVs (6.2%) and 399 PHEVs (2.4%).

Collectively, Tranche 1 organisations reported a combined emissions total of 303,000 tCO2e for the 2021/2022 reporting period. Most public sector emissions were from vehicle fleets (17%) and air travel (13%).

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As part of their emissions reduction planning, organisations have committed to ambitious targets aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 22% by 2025 and 42% by 2030.

By the end of 2023 a full programme of reporting will be underway, with all three tranches required or encouraged to report on their emissions, targets and reduction plans. The results of this reporting will be available in early 2024, providing a clear picture of Government emissions and plans to reduce them.

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