Greens launch climate-friendly infrastructure policy

The Green Party wants to create an infrastructure fund, paid for by raising royalty rates on oil drilling, to help the country become carbon neutral by 2050.

As part of its Green Economy policy, the fund would cost an initial $10 million, as well as $100m of credit over three years.

Party co-leader James Shaw said the fund would be the Kiwibank of the clean economy, aiming to create jobs in the clean technology and infrastructure sectors.

“Under National, New Zealand will keep subsidising oil drilling instead of creating jobs in clean technologies.”

Directors of the fund would be independent of the government, but would give money to profitable clean economy investments.

“The Green Infrastructure Fund will renew investment in the infrastructure we need, like clean energy, efficient buildings, sustainable agriculture and waste reduction projects to keep New Zealand going for decades to come,” Mr Shaw said.

Other projects that would be funded included smart LED street lighting.

The fund would also have a minimum target rate return of five percent and a goal of reducing emissions by one million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

The Green Party said similar investment funds were found in Europe, Australia and Japan, while six states of America had newly established green banks.

“Being carbon neutral by 2015 is an ambitious goal, but it is the people who lack ambition who pose the biggest threat to our prosperity as a country,” Mr Shaw said.