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New measures to cut carbon at Parliament

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Parliament is introducing new measures that will further reduce its carbon footprint and improve energy efficiency on the parliamentary precinct in Wellington.

With support provided through the clean-powered public service fund, Parliament will be installing solar PV on the roof of the historic Parliament House and LED lighting throughout the buildings.

It’s estimated this will reduce Parliament’s carbon emissions by around 1,690 tonnes over the next ten years. Parliamentary Service will receive $1.3 million in support from the clean-powered public service fund and will contribute $0.960 million from its own budget towards the project.

The savings made through this initiative, and others, will be used to offset the travel that members of Parliament are required to undertake as they carry out their work across the country.

"New Zealanders look to Parliament to do the right thing and we should be leading by example, demonstrating our commitment to energy efficiency and renewable resources" Speaker of the House, the Rt Hon Trevor Mallard says.

"Over the past three years I have been working with Parliamentary Service to make the precinct more environmentally friendly and I’m extremely pleased to see that this latest initiative will have such a significant, positive impact as we work towards becoming carbon neutral in future years."

Last year Parliamentary Service joined the Green Star environmental performance scheme, which assesses a building’s environmental impacts across a range of categories, including energy, climate change emissions, water, waste and transport. In 2018 the units that provide chilled water for air conditioning on the precinct were also replaced with more energy efficient units. This resulted in significant emissions savings as the chiller units are the single biggest use of electricity onsite.

Upcoming work will focus on investigating rain water storage and wind generation as part of ongoing efforts to improve the sustainability and resilience of the precinct.

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