20 May 2021

Budget 2021: The environmental investments

4:54 pm on 20 May 2021

Rail and electric vehicles are getting the lions share of the investment from today's Budget towards the Government's efforts to bring down emissions.

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KiwiRail is getting $1.3b over four years. Photo: RNZ / Samuel Rillstone

KiwiRail is getting $1.3 billion over four years to go towards replacing locomotives, infrastructure maintenance and new facilities.

$300 million is going into a green investment fund to be put towards low-carbon technology, electric vehicles, and greening public transport.

It was established in 2019 with $100m of Government money - so it now has $400m to play with.

$300m has been set aside for a revived feebate scheme to subsidise electric vehicles which was torpedoed by New Zealand First in the Government's last term.

The details of this are still being finalised and legislation will have be tabled and go through Parliament.

And a further $80m will go towards helping the public sector become carbon neutral by 2025.

Pre budget announcements included an extra $60m to lease EVs, and to converting coal boilers in schools and hospitals to cleaner alternatives

There's money to insulate about 50,000 homes - which means less energy to heat homes and less emissions.

About $60m has been set aside for farmers to move into greener practices with lower emissions.

Before the budget, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said a focus would be securing a "just transition" to a low emissions economy - that's making sure the change does not disproportionally hurt some groups.

Today, just $13m was set aside for that.

The Ministry for the Environment has a commitment to ringfencing revenue from the sale of credits in the emissions trading scheme to be reinvested in initiatives to meet emissions reduction commitments.

It is expected to provide about $3b over five years.

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