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Labour Party: Sustainable Economy Policy

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A sustainable economy will be built on the following policy foundations:

Implementation of an effective emissions trading scheme; Labour will phase in an all gases, all sectors emissions trading scheme. This will create a price for carbon in the New Zealand economy which will, over time, enable us to meet our international obligations.

At risk industries will be assisted to adapt and change while specific measures will be taken to assist consumers.

Accelerating the switch to renewable energy sources; Labour has set a clear goal of 90% of electricity being renewably produced by 2025. Labour will also encourage the early adopting of new vehicle technologies with vehicle emissions to be reduced by half by 2040.

Increased energy efficiency; Labour supports substantially boosting funding for energy efficiency projects. This will include accelerated retrofitting of homes, expansion of solar water-heating, and other measures to improve energy efficiency in homes and businesses.

Better integration of rail, road, and coastal sea transport; Significant opportunities exist for major intermodal shifts of freight from road to rail and sea. Labour supports undertaking a major programme of new investment in KiwiRail and will develop mechanisms to support coastal transport and achieve better integration of our ports system.

Waste reduction; Under Labour parliament has passed new waste reduction legislation. This now needs to be effectively implemented and further work done to reduce our large waste streams.

Intensified research and development on sustainability; Labour has set up the Fast Forward Fund. This will grow to a $2 billion fund to support research and development in the primary sector industries, with a particular emphasis on sustainability.

Labour will also give greater emphasis to sustainability in the criteria used by other state supported research funds.

Non-environmentally constrained business promotion; Labour sees significant opportunities for developing businesses which are not constrained by New Zealand’s size, or distance and which are less environmentally constrained. Such areas as biotechnology, information and communications technology, design, and screen productions are particularly attractive in that respect. New Zealand Trade and Enterprise and other government agencies will be resourced to continue progressing these important areas of work.

There may be further areas of focus, where the potential of emerging or re-emerging sectors has reached a point where they are ripe for acceleration (e.g. new materials technologies, new renewable energy technologies and some health technologies).

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