SYDNEY (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday her government would phase out coal-fired boilers and reduce carbon emissions from public transport buses if returned to power in polls on Oct. 17.
Ardern, who is also the leader of the Labour Party, said her government would introduce laws to prevent installation of new boilers and replace existing ones with electric alternatives to reduce emissions.
The government will also create a NZ$50 million ($32.9 million) fund to help local councils buy zero emissions buses by 2025.
“Over the last three years we have put in place the foundations to reach our 2050 climate obligations,” the prime minister said. “But there is more to do.”
She said the latest initiatives to address climate change concerns are build on plans put in place during her first term.
“During our first term in government, climate change was at the centre of all our policy work and commitments. It is inextricably linked to our decisions on issues like housing, agriculture, waste, energy and transport,” Ardern said.
Climate change is a key issue in the New Zealand election, which according to a string of opinion polls, Ardern’s Labour Party was largely expected to win.
Proud of being one of the most pristine and beautiful countries in the world, New Zealand introduced climate change curriculum in its schools last month.
Parliament passed a zero carbon bill last year and there are other measure in the pipeline to limit the impact of climate change.
(Reporting by Renju Jose; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)