In a speech this week, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clarke announced New Zealand’s intention to commit to 90% renewable electricity by 2025, according to a press release issued by the New Zealand government.
The country already uses 70% renewable electricity, primarily hydro- and geothermal power and will continue to increase its use of renewables over the next 20 years.
Eventually, the Prime Minister would like to see the country carbon-neutral. “I have set out the challenge to our nation to become the first truly sustainable nation on earth…to dare to aspire to be carbon neutral,” Prime Minister Clarke said.
The Prime Minister also gave a brief outline of further goals, which included a 2040 target of reducing by half per capita emissions from transport and widely introducing electric vehicles. She also stated the goal of achieving a net increase in forest area of 250,000 hectares (617,000 acres) by 2020.
“The long-term benefits of becoming a sustainable nation will spread beyond our national reputation and success in business to benefit all New Zealanders,” Prime Minister Clarke added.
Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks as the government releases the New Zealand Energy Strategy, the New Zealand Energy Efficiency and Conservation Strategy and the Transport Strategy Implementation Plan.