As a country, I firmly believe there’s a real opportunity for government agencies and businesses to innovate and work together to tackle climate change. At Contact Energy, we're keen to take on the challenge and play a key role in achieving this.
Earlier this year the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment recommended that we need to depoliticise New Zealand’s response to climate change and I concur. We need to make decisions on how exactly New Zealand can move to a lower carbon economy, such as addressing emissions targets and budgets, implementing policy to help get us there, and a Climate Change Commission to provide expert analysis and advice.
I believe that having a market-priced Emissions Trading Scheme covering all sectors will help aid the transition to a lower carbon economy. As a company we’re doing our bit – we produce roughly the same amount of electricity as we did 5 years ago, but we’ve reduced our emissions by 53% and gas purchases by 64%.
New Zealand is blessed with abundant renewable energy and we can use it to decarbonise the transport sector by increasing the use of electric vehicles. Of course, we’re a strong supporter of electric vehicles. We are a partner in a range of initiatives designed to increase their use in New Zealand and 25% of our own vehicle fleet is electric.
We’re also focused on innovation and in August we introduced our Green Borrowing Programme, which allows investors, for the first time ever, to have the opportunity to invest in certified Green Debt Instruments issued by a New Zealand company.