Transport Committee’s plan for reduced carbon emissions

Sustainability & Technology

Greater Wellington Regional Council’s Transport Committee this morning agreed to priorities for transport including contributing to targets that will see reductions in transport-generated emissions.

Transport Committee Chair Roger Blakeley says the committee agreed to strategic priorities for the 2019-22 triennium.

“These priorities are reductions in transport-generated regional carbon emissions, increases in regional mode share for public transport and active modes, early delivery of public transport elements of Let’s Get Wellington Moving, and more funding for regional rail,” Cr Blakeley says.

One of the key performance measures for these targets is the contribution to a 30 per cent reduction in regional transport-generated carbon emissions by 2030.

“Greater Wellington will contribute to this target by accelerating the electrification of the public transport vehicle fleet to a total of 100 electric buses by June 2023. 

“Our targets also include the further acceleration of the decarbonisation of the public transport vehicle fleet to achieve our own corporate target of being net zero carbon emissions by 2030,” Cr Blakeley says.

The transport-generated carbon emissions target meets the target in the national Climate Change Response Act 2002 of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. It also recognises the recommendation of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018, which recommended that countries reduce their carbon emissions by 50 per cent by 2030 to avoid a "climate catastrophe".

“Currently 54 per cent of Greater Wellington’s carbon emissions come from our public transport bus fleets, so this is an area where we are able to make major improvements over the next 10 years.

“Contributing to the regional target of a 40 per cent increase in regional mode share from public transport and active modes, will be the major contributor to a reduction in carbon emissions,” Cr Blakeley says.

The Transport Committee’s mode share targets include an increase in public transport boardings to 44 million passenger boardings in 2022 – an increase from 40 million in 2019.

The mode share of active travel and public transport target is set at a level to reflect aspirations for good, affordable and healthy travel choices as well as the reduction in emissions.

“Today we are agreeing to an ambitious set of targets that aim to shift the region towards a more sustainable future,” Cr Blakeley says.