The New Zealand government has confirmed a range of different options that are being considered in its mission to make the country carbon neutral by 2050. And, one of those options is to completely ban internal combustion engine vehicles by 2050.
The ban is a step up on existing talks about the ban of importing ICE vehicles, which the climate change commission has recommended should occur by 2035. The ban would be a sweeping, all-encompassing ban covering all ICE vehicles on Kiwi roads.
Government officials confirmed that the ban is one of four pathways being investigated by the government. Each pathway ties in public transport, cycleways, and other alternatives to driving.
“The transport sector currently produces 47 per cent of New Zealand’s CO2 emissions and between 1990 and 2018, domestic transport emissions increased by 90 per cent,” said the minister of transport Michael Wood.
“We won’t reach total consensus, but I am calling for a mature conversation, with an eye on a shared future. […] The pathways laid out in the report show it’s possible to meet our emission reduction targets, but big changes will be needed in the coming decades.
“There will be some hard choices to make, but it’s obvious we can’t continue with business as usual.”
According to Stuff, one of the government’s most ambitious pathways plots a 57 per cent drop in use of light vehicles by 2035, with 27 per cent of the national fleet being either hybrid or fully electric by the same point — resulting in a 6.2 megatonne carbon emissions improvement per annum.
That same pathway indicates that, in order to be possible, the country’s bus fleet would require a nine-fold increase in customers. It’s a troubling fact, given the reported lack of patronage on buses in the Auckland region.
“When it comes to addressing the climate crisis, cutting emissions from transport will be vital,” added minister of climate change James Shaw. “But if we make smart decisions now then we can create a low carbon future for transport and put our communities on the path to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”
While plenty of countries overseas have announced a ban on the sale of internal combustion cars, to our knowledge no country on the planet has announced a total ban on all pre-existing internal combustion engine vehicles.
The Ministry of Transport is taking public submissions on transport plans up until June 25.