Preparing New Zealand for the transition
Our economic exposure to global shocks such as Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine is directly related to our dependence on global energy markets. Past investment in renewable energy has played a role in reducing our exposure to inflationary shocks of the sort Aotearoa New Zealand is currently experiencing, particularly in comparison to many European countries whose energy needs are highly dependent on fossil fuels. As the recent global energy crisis has demonstrated, parts of our economy remain vulnerable to unexpected volatility in global energy markets. Further investment in the decarbonisation of our economy will not only help us to meet our emissions reduction targets; it will also improve the resilience of our economy to future shocks and lead to greater economic security.
Budget 2022 provides $18 million for the development of a comprehensive energy strategy, a hydrogen roadmap, and the creation of a regulatory framework for offshore wind energy. This work sets the foundations for future decarbonisation and high value economic opportunities. Creating a clear regulatory environment will support new investment, regional development and highly skilled jobs, while providing more renewable energy options to support our transition to a low emissions economy.
Hydrogen as a fuel could enable the decarbonisation of hard to electrify sectors such as heavy freight and steel - the roadmap will provide the nascent green hydrogen sector with further clarity on how the government will support a pathway to an economically sustainable market for hydrogen. The new regulatory framework for offshore renewable energy will provide a more certain consenting process that balances the impact of offshore renewable investment with other priorities such as fisheries and marine protection.
Together with the energy strategy, these initiatives are an opportunity to ensure that actions to decarbonise our economy are coordinated and considered across the whole energy system.
Helping people reduce their transport costs requires greater transport choice. Budget 2022 will take a significant step toward reducing vehicle use in urban centres through a $375 million fund to deliver mode shift and reduce emissions from transportation. This will also provide additional support to our broader investments in transportation mode shift. Investing in making walking, cycling and public transport more attractive options will help make our cities more liveable and help local councils transition toward low-emissions urban environments.
The decarbonisation of heavy vehicle fleets will be supported by the following initiatives: a $41 million investment to support the decarbonisation of public transport through supporting Public Transport Authorities to deploy low- and zero-emissions buses; and $20 million funding to support innovations in the decarbonisation of freight through co-funding for projects demonstrating low emission freight technologies, fuels, services, infrastructure, innovations and business models.
An equitable transition
Climate change has clear and significant implications for future generations. Taking a holistic approach to wellbeing grounded in te ao Māori provides a valuable perspective on these intergenerational impacts. Te taiao, Aotearoa New Zealand's natural environment, is a fundamental good. It has intrinsic value beyond what it confers to New Zealanders through increased living standards. It is important that principles such as tiakitanga - that emphasise the responsibility for the Government to be a good kaitiaki, or guardian, of Aotearoa New Zealand's natural environment for future generations - are a critical element of our response.
The Government is committed to ensuring an equitable climate transition. This will include addressing the distribution of impacts caused by both the changing climate and the steps we are taking to address it, and making sure that we address existing inequalities that are created within the current system.
Taking meaningful action to address the challenge of climate change means taking action that does not leave any communities, regions, businesses or households behind. Budget 2022 will provide $16 million to develop an equitable transitions strategy in collaboration with people and communities who will be most affected by the transition.
Mitigating impacts for Māori, iwi and hapū will be essential, and can be supported by strong alignment with the principles of tikanga, whanaungatanga, and kotahitanga in our climate response. Budget 2022 will provide $31 million for a Māori climate action platform to strengthen the Māori-Crown relationship, support an equitable transition for Māori, and resource community-based kaupapa Māori and tangata Māori solutions.