Meridian welcomes the Climate Commission’s draft advice to take bold and urgent climate action.

What we do collectively across all sectors during the next few short years will define Aotearoa’s climate action success, says Meridian’s Chief Executive Neal Barclay.

The Climate Commission’s draft advice clearly states that there is much to be done and the time to act is now.

Bold and meaningful policy will underpin our collective actions, providing confidence for businesses to invest and supporting individuals to make the changes required to ensure a future we can all be proud of.

We expect the Government to act swiftly to use the Commission’s final advice and analysis once available as a sound basis for enabling transformational change – noting decarbonisation and the reduction of emissions are the key areas of focus if we are to meet our goals.

The draft advice recognises that maximising the use of electricity as a low emissions fuel is key to unlocking the decarbonisation challenge. Aotearoa New Zealand’s electricity sector is well placed to enable that transformation by delivering new renewable energy projects.

We strongly support setting a renewable energy target across the full energy system.  As the Commission says, this will encourage investment without locking in prescribed pathways.  We also support the Clean Car Standard for newly imported vehicles – to prevent NZ becoming a dumping ground for cheap high emission vehicles.  We are one of only two OECD countries that don’t have such import standards. 

We don’t want to stay in the slow lane and we believe more can be done. The introduction of a feebate scheme and an eventual ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel internal combustion engines would help accelerate this transition.

The opportunity to electrify transport and industrial energy uses with renewable electricity is massive for our country and, once it’s done, will go a long way to eliminating our non-agricultural emissions.

Meridian is also poised to invest in supporting our customers to transition to clean energy solutions, which will be a crucial part of our country’s journey.

“The good news is that we already know it is cheaper to build and operate new renewable projects like wind and solar, than coal and gas-based generation, so powering our future will ultimately be the cheapest as well as the cleanest route to success,” adds Barclay.

 “There is much to do. We can rise to the challenge of locking in net zero now, with clean energy underpinning our prosperity.”

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