General policy statement
This Bill aims to decrease emissions of greenhouse gases by requiring the State sector to purchase or lease only those passenger vehicles that are energy efficient through having a better than average emissions performance of 170g/km of CO2 (approximately 7 l/100km) – the same efficiency standard set out in the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy 2007 for the New Zealand fleet as a whole. (Measuring fuel economy in terms of CO2 rather than mileage has many advantages as it makes no prescription concerning fuel or technology.)
Transport is a major contributor to New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions, and is one of the main areas in which we can improve environmental sustainability.
It is important for the Government itself to demonstrate leadership in this area. The cost and emissions savings obtainable from the Government fleet are worthwhile, but the real value of a Government commitment to purchasing fuel efficient vehicles is the potential influence on purchasing decisions for company fleets and, in due course, vehicles owned by private individuals.
The Current Government Fleet and Procurement Practice Report (2006) found that,
“except for the district health boards, there is significant potential to reduce vehicle size across the fleet”. The amount of carbon dioxide emissions from the total Government fleet of 21,000 vehicles has been estimated at 112,000 tonnes/annum. The current average emissions performance is 210g/km of CO2 (9.2 l/100km).
Clause by clause analysis
Clause 1 is the Title of the Bill.
Clause 2 provides for the Bill’s provisions to come into force on the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.
Clause 3 states that the purpose of the Bill is to require the State sector to purchase or lease only passenger vehicles that have an emissions performance of better than 170g/km of CO2.
Clause 4 states that the Bill binds the Crown.
Clause 5 defines terms used in the Bill.
Clause 6 specifies the size classes of vehicles.
Clause 7 restricts State sector organisations in the passenger vehicles they can purchase, or lease, to those vehicles with an emissions performance that is better than 170g/km of CO2 unless those vehicles are used wholly or partly for certain law enforcement, conservation, or emergency purposes.
Clause 8 requires all passenger vehicles purchased or leased by State sector organisations to be among the top 10% for fuel efficiency in their size class as listed on the fuelsaver.govt.nz website.
Clause 9 requires all State sector organisations to report annually on their passenger vehicle purchases and leases. In addition to a requirement to report to the Ministry for the Environment, and for the Ministry to publish that information on its website, organisations must include information about vehicle purchases or leases in their annual reports. This requirement will allow for parliamentary scrutiny of organisations’ contributions to greenhouse gas emissions in the annual financial review of organisations.