Dr Rebecca FordWhat we’re doing

This workstream is all about identifying opportunities to reduce transportation related carbon emissions and establishing an energy-efficient and resilient transportation system for New Zealand. Our specific aims are to figure out what options are available for achieving change, find out who’s actually out there creating change, and gain insight into how this may lead to more widespread adoption of an efficient transportation system.

We’re doing a stocktake of individuals, communities, and organisations who are involved in transport efficiency initiatives in New Zealand, and how these ‘early movers’ can help us learn about how to move toward a more energy efficient transportation system.

What we’ve found out so far

Our stocktake identified 85 different organisations, who between them are involved in 132 different transportation initiatives – Energy transitions in transport.

This isn’t everything going on in NZ by any means, and the initiatives include councils and companies investing in hybrid or electric vehicles, people switching to using biofuels, driver training for truckies, citywide campaigns for shifting to public or active transport, and putting in new infrastructure such as charging stations for electric vehicles. However, these initiatives are mostly very isolated, with not many links between the organisations involved in the changes, and very few who are combining different types of initiatives. Although we are starting to see change happen, it doesn’t yet appear to be systematic or widespread. This raises two very important questions:

  • How can transportation initiatives become more interconnected, and who should facilitate this?
  • What style of organisation would be best able to coordinate these efforts in order to grow a broader learning network?

Although much more work is needed, we are excited by the range of initiatives already under way to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impacts of our transport system.

Our report on this work is available here:

Ford, R., Doering, A., Stephenson, J. (2014) Transport Transitions in New Zealand:A Scoping Study. Report prepared for the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA), Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. ISBN: 978-0-473-27690-4
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