Carbon-neutral by 2050: The Green Party's big clean tech infrastructure plan

The Green Party has announced a policy that would see New Zealand carbon-neutral by 2050 if it is part of the next Government.

Initial funding of $10 million plus $100 million of credit would come from a major hike in oil drilling royalties - from 46 percent to 70 percent. Additional funding would come through establishing a "fair price on carbon".

Co-leader James Shaw likened the fund to KiwiSaver, saying it would be used to attract funding for clean technology and infrastructure projects.

The aims are twofold - to get at least 5 percent return on investments and a reduction in emission by 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually. The party says thousands of jobs would be generated in clean technology and infrastructure. 

The fund would lend money to organisations that might be able to reduce contributions to climate change and over time the organisation would pay back the loan to the fund or the fund's stake in the project would be sold off.

The policy was released at the party's AGM in Auckland in Saturday. The party said billions of dollars in private sector finance would be used to fund renewable energy plants, solar panel installations, energy-efficient retrofits and biofuels.

The Fund "will be the Kiwibank of the clean economy," Mr Shaw said.
The Fund "will be the Kiwibank of the clean economy," Mr Shaw said. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr

"National has built a lot of motorways, but they've let other infrastructure deteriorate," Mr Shaw said in a press release.

"The Green Infrastructure Fund will help New Zealand increase our economic prosperity while at the same time reducing our contribution to climate change, as many European countries are beginning to do.

"Over time, the fund will see billions of dollars used to build clean energy sources, sustainable agriculture projects and the infrastructure our cities need to grow without compromising the environment."

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