Emissions Plan could unlock climate action “on a scale never seen before

Climate Action Investor news

The Emissions Reduction Plan has the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of Aotearoa’s economy to unprecedented levels, according to the country's largest electricity company. 

“Government is finally talking about our renewable energy target in terms of our total energy consumption. That’s vital for Kiwis to understand the scale of our challenge.  When measured in 2020, only 28% of New Zealand’s total energy consumption was renewable.  We welcome the government’s commitment to lift that to 50% by 2035,” Meridian Energy Chief Executive Neal Barclay says. 

Transport and industrial process heat are the two main sources of fossil-fuelled energy consumption, and the Government is right to focus funding on those sectors.  Barclay says new funding for process heat decarbonisation shows the government understands the huge business challenge faced by our largest companies in decarbonising Aotearoa’s second-largest source of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions.   

“The near ten-fold increase to the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry (GIDI) Fund to $678 million is excellent news for businesses who want to ditch fossil fuels from their operations but are struggling to make the numbers stack up. 

“This funding has the potential to unlock climate action from Aotearoa’s industrial sector on a scale never seen before,” Barclay says.   

Meridian’s Process Heat Electrification Project provides industrial customers with long term electricity price certainty on the condition that they are switching from fossil fuels to electricity.  In tandem with the GIDI fund, Meridian’s Process Heat Electrification Project since 2021 has committed support to fuel-switching projects that will reduce carbon emissions by more than 130,000 tonnes per annum.   

“We’ve seen the transformation this funding has achieved in just a few short years.  The government’s decision to supercharge this approach is a huge step toward a net zero-emissions Aotearoa,” Barclay says. 

ENDS
Neal Barclay
Chief Executive
Meridian Energy Limited

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