Council votes to incentivise use of low-emission vehicles

Incentivising the use of low emission and electric vehicles will help Dunedin meet its environmental goals, city councillors say.

The Dunedin City Council has lent its support to the Government's proposal to introduce a clean car standard and a clean car discount scheme.

In its submission on the proposals, the council says the benefits would have a positive impact on Dunedin's environmental goals.

While the proposal was not a magic wand, Cr Christine Garey said it was one step towards Dunedin's and New Zealand's carbon zero goals.

Cr Aaron Hawkins said for too many people electric cars were still too expensive and while the proposal would still not totally solve that problem it would reduce the cost for many.

Cr Kate Wilson said although she supported the proposal she was worried about the impact it would have on rural communities and industries with no alternatives to high emission vehicles.

Cr Andrew Whiley questioned why the council was involving itself in a matter best left to central government.

He was also concerned issues, such as problems associated with mining cobalt used in electric car batteries, were being ignored.

Cr Marie Laufiso said as local politicians the council had to listen to the community's call for climate action which was not just an issue for the Government.

Councillors voted to approve a draft submission on the proposal.

Councillors Whiley, Doug Hall and Mike Lord voted against the submission.

A subsequent motion from Cr Wilson asking the Government to investigate ways to promote low emission vehicles for rural and trade-related industries was added to the submission after a vote on the council having a clean car standard and a clean car discount scheme.

The clean car standard would require suppliers to lower the average CO2 emissions of light vehicles imported into New Zealand.

Under the clean car discount, the buying of low-emission and electric vehicles would be incentivised while higher emission vehicles would be penalised.

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