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Thursday 21 October 2021

New supply chain strategy, transport targets, food waste proposals – govt seeks emissions feedback

13th October 2021 By Paul Yandall | | @foodtickernz

A freight and supply chain strategy, developing a circular economy and bioeconomy, and further reducing and separating food waste are among new low-emission initiatives the government is seeking feedback on.

In its Te hau mārohi ki anamata | Transitioning to a low-emissions and climate-resilient future document released today, the government said the public could help shape its emissions reduction plan, expected to be published at next May’s Budget.

The proposals in the 131-page discussion document aimed to strengthen and leverage New Zealand’s relative position on the global stage to become a genuinely low-carbon food- and fibre-producing nation with the country targetting net zero emissions by 2050. 

“The emissions reduction plan will set the direction for climate action for the next 15 years and require action across a range of areas, including energy, transport, waste, agriculture, construction and financial services,” said climate change minister James Shaw in the document’s introduction.

“The final emissions reduction plan needs to pull together the collective effort of every part of Aotearoa. It needs to set out future policy and regulatory change, but also the action that can be taken in every business, every town and city, and every community.” 

Among the proposals to decarbonise freight and transport is the creation of a new national freight and supply chain strategy to help decarbonise, and improve efficiency and competitiveness.

“In the first emissions budget, the Ministry of Transport will develop a freight and supply chain strategy with industry,” the document stated. 

“This will provide a better understanding of the system and how it can help us reach several outcomes – including decarbonisation. This includes exploring ways to encourage mode-shift to rail and coastal shipping.”

The discussion document also introduced new transport targets including an increase in zero-emissions vehicles to 30% of the light fleet by 2035 and a reduction in emissions from freight transport by 25% by 2035. 

Developing a circular economy strategy for New Zealand and using a sustainable development pilot fund to encourage businesses down that path is also up for discussion. Fostering an emerging bioeconomy – the use of renewable biological resources to produce food, products and energy – is also being scoped.

In agriculture, the government said it wanted to continue to “develop and adopt the technology and practices that kept this sector on track to meet the biogenic methane targets, and reduce long-lived emissions”. 

“Our food and fibre sectors are already some of the most emissions-efficient producers in the world, but they need support to become even more sustainable and meet our targets. The sector has already committed to doing its part to meet our 2030 biogenic methane target.”

It highlighted the $70m government investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund (GIDI) as a tool to help businesses decarbonise, which was already supporting 13 food businesses to do so.

The government was also seeking proposals to reduce household and company food waste.

“Initiatives could motivate businesses to look for ways to reduce their food waste and might encourage more donations of food-to-food rescue and redistribution or turning food unsuitable for people into stock food.”

The discussion document and more information on the consultation, which is open for submission until 11.59pm 24 November 2021, is available here.



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