More electric cars, fewer cows: How New Zealand plans to fight climate change

New Zealand on Sunday revealed how it plans to tackle the threat posed by climate change by underlining the need to taking electric vehicles to the masses. And if you are rolling down the scenic Kiwi countryside in a battery-powered car, it could worth be noting just how few cows are seen grazing on the grasslands.

File photo used for representational purpose.
File photo used for representational purpose.

More EVs, fewer cows - these are just two of the several steps outlined by the country in its efforts to tackle climate change. "As a country, we need transformational and lasting change to meet our targets," Rodd Carr, Chairman of New Zealand's Climate Change Commission said. "There are a few actions that are critical to meeting our targets: electric vehicles, accelerated renewable energy generation, climate-friendly farming practices and more permanent forests, predominantly natives."

Also Read : US President Joe Biden wants to replace all vehicles in government fleet with EVs

It isn't going to be easy to snub fossil fuels. Esepcially considering the vast number of people who have jobs in the coal, gas and oil industries. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, however, is looking at ways in which the toll on the economy can be kept to a minimum.

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As per the plans, which would now be opened for public consultation, New Zealand will end the import of petrol-powered vehicles by 2032. The country also wants to ensure that as much has half of all light vehicles would be battery powered by 2035. This is in line with some of the ambitious goals which several other countries have also established.

But New Zealand is going the extra mile and while EVs are at the center of the battle ahead, it also wants to reduce methane gas levels and the plans want farmers here to bring down livestock numbers by 15% till 2030 while maintaining the same levels of productivity.

The final decision on these plans is likely to manifest by 2021.

(With inputs from AFP)

First Published Date: 31 Jan 2021, 18:55 PM IST
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