22 Nov 2018
Engineers say taking action on cleaner energy is the most practical step New Zealand can take to tackle climate change.
Engineering New Zealand President Dean Kimpton says its new report, Engineering a Better New Zealand: Cleaner Energy, reflects what the majority of engineers are really thinking – and wishing New Zealand would just get on with.
“Many elements of a more sustainable energy future are crystal clear already. For example, the transport system of the future won’t centre on individually owned cars the way it has in the past.
Let’s plan for tomorrow, not an extension of the past.
“Two areas where engineers see the greatest opportunity for making a difference to climate change are building a sustainable transport network and making electricity cleaner.”
Engineering New Zealand Chief Executive Susan Freeman-Greene says the report makes 10 specific recommendations for actions that New Zealand can take now to build a sustainable future.
“These include increasing and improving storage so we can use more renewable electricity, both of water for hydro and batteries. At the same time, we need to futureproof our physical distribution network so it’s less vulnerable to climate change and storms.
“We also recommend user pricing that drives down peak demand across our urban road networks, reducing congestion and emissions. Making this practical involves prioritising next-generation mass transit without polarising the community, as well as enabling last-mile solutions like scooters, cycles and car share.
“One key to achieving these recommendations is engineering capability. We need the right engineers with the right skills, both in existing and emerging technologies. This won’t happen without the right planning and incentives.
“Moving forward means everyone in this space working together: engineers, regulators and decision makers. There’s huge opportunities for collaboration between professions, sectors and industries, with many organisations already moving in the same direction.”