Meridian Energy’s CE Neal Barclay says he strongly supports the Interim Climate Change Panel’s (ICCC) Accelerated Electrification recommendations to the Government.

“The ICCC recommendations show us we can take action now and it won’t cost us the earth,” says Neal. “Accelerating the electrification of transport and process heat is one of the smartest ways New Zealand can actively and significantly reduce emissions and improve the competitiveness of New Zealand business in a global context.”

“Government adoption of the ICCC report would give us the green light we need to shape a cleaner, healthier and affordable future for New Zealanders.”

Rather than pursuing a narrow renewable electricity generation target, the report recommendation rightly focuses on the goal of overall emissions reductions to limit global temperature increases. 

The Committee’s modelling shows the accelerated electrification of transport and process heat can deliver significant net emissions reductions (5.4 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent per year by 2035) and more than triple the emissions reductions compared to pursuing 100% renewable electricity.

New Zealand will need significantly more renewable generation from wind, water and sun in particular to support this accelerated electrification recommendation and we strongly agree the Government should:

  • Provide for the development of wind generation at scale through strong direction under the Resource Management Act;
  • Ensure that the value of existing hydro generation to New Zealand’s climate change objectives is given sufficient weight when decisions about freshwater are made; and
  • Reform the Emission Trading Scheme so it can play its intended role as a driver of emissions reductions across the economy.

“We need to work together on this,” says Neal. “Government can provide the framework and certainty we need to accelerate electrification, and it can show leadership by passing a strong Zero Carbon bill through parliament.”

 “Meridian and other generators can continue building new renewables while keeping prices affordable. New Zealanders are then well supported to make their own changes – whether that’s a business converting industrial processes to electricity or an individual choosing an electric car.”

New Zealand needs to contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement to limit global temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius.

“Adopting the ICCC recommendations means a win for the environment, our economy and for every New Zealander,” adds Neal.


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