Rally first in NZ to go carbon neutral

The Otago Rally will be carbon neutral.

Motorsport New Zealand has established an environment sustainability fund to help offset the sport’s carbon emissions and the Otago Rally will be the first event of its kind in New Zealand to offset its competitors’ carbon emissions.

It has pledged to contribute to the fund for the duration of this weekend’s rally as well as the two days of competitor reconnaissance.

Event organiser Roger Oakley said they were "proud to support this important Motorsport New Zealand initiative’’.

"And we hope to lead other events towards contributing to the scheme," Oakley said.

“We all have a role to play in creating a more environmentally sustainable New Zealand and this is an important step from the motorsport community."

Motorsport New Zealand gained a 2-star environmental accreditation from motorsport’s world governing body, the Federation Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), in 2018.

The environmental sustainability fund was identified as the next step to gaining the full 3-stars.

The fund is aimed at delivering environmental projects which will offset the carbon dioxide emissions produced in motorsport.

The projects will vary from purchasing carbon credits to activities such as planting trees.

Initially, event organisers will opt in to contributing to the fund but there are future plans to roll it out at an individual level, so competitors can choose to off-set their carbon emissions for a price of about $2 to $3 when entering events. It would be akin to airline schemes.

Motorsport New Zealand acting CEO Elton Goonan is delighted to see Otago Rally volunteering to contribute to the new fund.

“The motorsport community here and around the world has been lucky enough to experience events set against the spectacular backdrop of New Zealand’s pristine landscapes, and it’s only right that we help ensure these continue to be enjoyed by generations to come,’’ he said.

“The global perception of transport, particularly cars, is changing with a shift towards minimising emissions and, as a sport, we need to support that."

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