The release of the Final Advice to Government of the Climate Change Commission was a significant development in the Government's drive to reduce net emissions of all greenhouse gases (except agricultural methane) to zero by 2050.
The transport sector is one of the major emitters of long-lived gases that contribute to climate change. As the largest representative of the New Zealand motor industry, it was important for the Motor Trade Association (MTA) to have its voice heard, particularly as the Government's response to the Climate Change Commission could have a big impact on its members' businesses. We helped MTA share its position that addressing climate change must be done in a way that helps all New Zealanders play their part and doesn't compromise their safety or create issues of equity or isolation.
MTA and its members support the need to reduce emissions within the transport sector. Having made submissions to the Climate Change Commission, MTA wanted to reinforce its position and recommended approach to Government, officials, and the wider New Zealand public.
MTA feels strongly that addressing climate change must be done in a way that helps all New Zealanders play their part and doesn't compromise their safety or create issues of equity or isolation. It sees electric vehicles as part of the solution, not the only solution. Importantly, the 5.5 million vehicles in New Zealand need to be emission tested; and that the oldest, most polluting, and less safe vehicle need to be removed from our roads.
Working as part of an integrated team, our plan included market research, direct advocacy, media relations, advertising and coalition building to build understanding and support for MTA’s position.
Market research examined the reaction of low- and middle-income New Zealanders to the Commission's Final Advice and the launch of the Clean Car Discount. This research was shared alongside a policy paper we prepared with the MTA team on the disposal of the oldest, most polluting vehicles in the fleet to Minister Wood, Minister of Transport. The Minister made direct reference to this research at an MTA Parliamentary Showcase facilitated by Acumen saying:
"The Government is interested in exploring all available options to help New Zealanders transition away from unsafe, higher-emitting and aged vehicles to cleaner, safer and more affordable low-emissions cars. A scrappage vehicle mechanism focussed on equity goals could be part of this. Thank you for commissioning and providing us with this work – we will work with you to explore the options."
The campaign saw MTA engage wider stakeholders and develop advocacy and online educational advertisements. We also supported them with earned media, resulting in close to 30 media engagements regarding Government’s final advice to the Climate Change Commissions.
We continue to advocate MTA's position in the lead up to the release of the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan and its subsequent consultation.