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New Zealand's electric company is leading the way with green building.
Tags:Learn About Green Construction in New Zealand,carbon neutral New Zealand,carbon neutral policy New Zealand,earth report,electric cars in New Zealand,first green building New Zealand,green construction in New Zealand,wellington carbon neutral policy
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Learn About Green Construction in New Zealand Female: In Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city, the government says it is pressing ahead with its carbon or climate neutral policies. Helen Clark: We have to show that we can lead by example as a government. We’ve set the objective of our public service becoming carbon neutral and we have a group of six lead departments that we want to be there over the next four years. Female: All the energy produced by the state owned Meridian energy comes from renewable sources. Even its headquarters are carbon neutral. Claire Shaw: This is Meridian Energy. It’s New Zealand’s first purpose built green building on the Wellington waterfront. Female: Meridian’s headquarters are already influencing the housing industry. Clint Jones: My focus is around housing and what this building does to me is it shows the industry particularly the construction industry what can be done. Claire Shaw: Well the external facade there -- the wooden louvres move with the sun and track the sun. So, it keeps the glare from the exterior and keeps the temperature inside. Clint Jones: So we are ready seeing that in housing, we are seeing now shut the systems that work in that area. Claire Shaw: When the ambient temperature drops within the building, the building thinks, opens the window and lets the hot air in. Clint Jones: The area is around photovoltaic generation, the ability to take energy off the roof, and put it into running your light bulbs is now a very practical option for people. Claire Shaw: These stairs have got recyclable material on. They used to be car tires. The building is made up largely from recycled material so energy efficiency-wise, it uses 60% less energy and 70% less water. Clint Jones: So things like that concrete and the floor coverings and the glass there are a very high percentage of products in this building that could end up in another building in the future. And, I think that the approach and responsibility is certainly creating a lot of thought in the market place. Female: Cars and trucks are some of the world’s main sources of green house gases. In its efforts to become carbon neutral, New Zealand is targeting transport. Here most cars are bought second hand and imported from Japan, which, like New Zealand, drives on the left. Jeannette Fitzsimons: New Zealand has the oldest, dirtiest and least efficient car fleet in the whole of the developed world. Trevor Mallard: What we want to do is to half vehicle emissions by 2040. And so it’s a major exercise and that will mean that the fleet has to be modernized. We kind of have to make a lot of progress, for example, towards electric cars. Female: The state owned energy company Meridian says it is trying to promote the use of electric cars. K.J. Kells: We are not as clean and green as we’d like. If we look at all the OECD countries, and we rank them, actually New Zealand is the fifth worst on a per capita basis for green house emissions. New Zealand is the second highest in the world for car ownership. It would almost got one car for every man, woman and child. We think there’s room for improvement there. Female: Meridian Energy is putting its faith in Japan’s futuristic electric cars. K.J. Kells: One of the things that make New Zealand the best place in the world for electric vehicles is the fact that we have an abundant of renewable energy. Female: Meridian has yet to import a single electric car. Used cars continue to arrive from Japan, 56% of those on the road are ten years or older, and emissions won’t be halved until 2040. In the meantime, some businesses are going green. Green Cabs operates taxis in three cities. Its boss is Callum Brown. Callum Brown: We run only Toyota Priuses which are hybrid vehicles which means they run on petrol engine and an electric motor and they’re low emission vehicles. Us being green, we don’t even have to go out and get customers, they come to us. It’s very positive. People love it. Our paying customers get a full break down of what it takes to travel and the number of trees we would have planted on their behalf as a result of their taxi travel.
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