The Motor Industry Association (MIA) has welcomed the Productivity Commission’s draft report on a low-emissions economy, which was released on April 27.
David Crawford, chief executive officer of the MIA, says the documents contain important analysis and recommendations to stimulate an essential debate on measures to accelerate a reduction of New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions. “The new-vehicle sector welcomes the opportunity to participate in a discussion on measures that would be effective in achieving an acceleration of reduction in greenhouse gases,” he says.
Greenhouse gas emissions from transport are around 18.4 per cent of New Zealand’s total emissions. It’s the third largest sector behind energy at 22.5 per cent and agriculture with 47.9 per cent, according to 2015 figures as used by the Productivity Commission.
Crawford says: “To avoid distortions in long-term resource allocation, it’s important a low-emissions economy includes all gases and sectors. It’s time to have a discussion on the incorporation of agriculture into our regulatory approach to reduce greenhouse emissions as it will remove a current distortionary effect that places an unfair burden on the other sectors.
“When it comes to transport, New Zealand is a technology taker. How we leverage the importation of low-carbon technological innovations is important, especially given the high volume of old imported vehicles that are on average one to two generations behind technologies found in new vehicles.”
The MIA believes there’s scope to make better use of economic pricing signals to influence vehicle-purchasing decisions, especially those that make it easy for consumers to identify the relative fuel efficiency of models. Making it easier and more transparent for consumers to understand a vehicle’s greenhouse gas performance and associated cost is more likely to be successful in changing consumers purchasing patterns.
“Discussion on transport incentives and disincentives within the draft report are welcomed as it stimulates a healthy debate on what policy measures are best for New Zealand,” says Crawford.