Submission to the Ministry of Transport on the proposed Clean Car Standard and Clean Car Discount policies:
The Ministry of Transport is consulting on two proposed initiatives to reduce emissions from New Zealand's light vehicle fleet. The initiatives are a vehicle fuel efficiency standard ("Clean Car Standard") and a feebate scheme ("Clean Car Discount") That would provide Marketable discounts on fuel efficient vehicles while incurring fees for high emission vehicles. Both initiatives would only apply to new and used light vehicles entering the fleet. The reduction on greenhouse gas emissions is a priority for Auckland Council.
Auckland Council has declared a climate emergency and is committed to playing its part in limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5º Celsius (1.5ºC). The transport sector is Auckland's largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and a significant reduction in these emissions is required to meet these commitments and achieve the objectives of Te Tārukeā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Action Framework.
Despite foreseeable benefits of the proposals, the consultation documents show that it is unlikely that the proposals will deliver the degree of change required to achieve both the Government's and Auckland Council's climate commitments. Given the need for urgent action and the vital role that vehicle emission reductions must play in Auckland to achieving its climate targets, the Ministry's proposals are not ambitious enough.
A draft submission from Auckland Council was prepared in response to the proposals. While it supports the Ministry's proposals and emphasises their importance to Auckland Council in terms of meeting its climate commitments, it also seeks that they go further to ensure vehicle emissions reduce to the level required to meet New Zealand's and Auckland's climate commitments.
Alternatively, if the Govenment does not believe they can meet these targets through these proposals alone, the submission requests the urgent introduction of other initiatives to reduce vehicle emissions. The significant changes required to meet our emissions tagets may disproportionately affect certain groups, including our poorest and most vulnerable people and communities who have the least ability to respond and adapt.
The Government should not automatically discount these changes, if they are required to meet our climate goals, but include support mechanisms or protections as part of a holistic package of interventions. The draft submission also recommends some further changes and additional initiatives that directly incentivise electric and zero emission vehicles, as well as the expansion of the approach to include support for other zero emission modes. Additional sub-regional social impact assessments are recommended to improve understanding of the scheme's potential impacts on Māori, rural households and lower income households in Auckland.
Source: Insights Report on Auckland Council.