Mitigation refers to reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. The majority of transport related emissions are generated from vehicles. However, for the transport agency it is important to understand the impacts from project related greenhouse gas emissions (ie construction and maintenance) in order to identify suitable mitigation measures.
One of the Agency's desired outcomes is ‘to reduce the harms from transport’. This includes supporting efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change in a number of ways. These primarily relate to investment in infrastructure supporting the use of ‘low emission’ transport choices, facilitating the uptake of new technologies as well as incentivising consideration of emission reduction when planning, delivering and managing infrastructure. Examples follow.
The Transport Agency is promoting resource efficiency initiatives to become more resource efficient, reducing the consumption of virgin raw materials on our projects and extending the useful life of our roads. We believe that this initiative will not only reduce materials production and freight and shipping related emissions, but will also reduce construction and operational costs.
During 2015-2018 the Transport Agency will invest $2b in public and alternative transport, including investing in the electrification of rail and the provision of new or upgraded bus infrastructure and services.
The Transport Agency is part of the Government's work programme to promote the uptake of electric vehicles, for example through enabling the efficient and effective provision of charging infrastructure.
Find out more about electric vehicles(external link) including information about safety and regulations.
For a view of all charging infrastructure currently available in New Zealand, go to PlugShare(external link) and navigate to New Zealand.
The Transport Agency co-invests with councils to accelerate uptake of energy-efficient street lighting. The current Specification and guidelines for road lighting design (M30) requires the use of LED lights as the preferred luminaire, reducing energy requirements by up to 60% compared to conventional lighting. Other lighting technology needs to be confirmed by the road controlling agency before they can be used on Agency projects.
We are promoting and using sustainability rating tools provided by organisations such as Greenroads® and the Infrastructure Sustainability Council of Australia to incentivise the uptake of low emission infrastructure designs and construction methods.
One of the project requirements for each Greenroad certified project is to undertake a carbon and energy footprint, which can be benchmarked internationally.
We are working with other Transport and Road Controlling Authorities internationally and locally eg Austroads(external link), to understand what best practice climate change mitigation looks like as well as commissioning work in New Zealand to better understand the nature, extent and ways to mitigate the impact of climate change.
It is not possible to estimate how many full-time equivalent staff work on the above matters as climate change mitigation is integrated into the work of numerous staff working at the NZ Transport Agency.
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