Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Air pollution report hard to swallow

An alarming new report released today claims that air pollution contributes to the premature deaths of more than 3,300 New Zealanders every year, and over 13,000 cases of childhood asthma.

The latest Health and Air Pollution in New Zealand 2016 study report underscores the importance of the environmental progress being made for the health and wellbeing of New Zealanders, Associate Environment Minister, Phil Twyford said today.

“Motor vehicles and domestic fires cause 96% of the social costs from air pollution, about $15.6 billion a year, further underlining the importance of New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan released earlier this year which drives down emissions across all sectors,” said Mr Twyford.

“It also provides further evidence of why we need policies like the Clean Car Discount which has just recently seen a record amount of EVs and hybrids registered in its first year, state sector decarbonisation projects like getting rid of coal boilers in schools, and reform of our resource management system which will require prescribed limits on air pollution.

“We have also made half price public transport permanent for many New Zealanders.

“In New Zealand our environment is at the heart of who we are as a country. Having clean water, oceans, and air protects the health of all New Zealanders, while also sustaining our economy.”

The Minister said New Zealand had made significant progress in improving the environment since 2017, including banning single-use plastic bags and ending new offshore oil and gas exploration.

“But there is always more to do and this report demonstrates the urgency in continuing this work,” he said.

The HAPINZ 3.0 report is funded by the Ministry for the Environment, Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency, Te Manatū Waka Ministry of Transport, and Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health.

The report is available on the Ministry for the Environment website at the following link: https://environment.govt.nz/publications/health-and-air-pollution-in-new-zealand-2016-findings-and-implicationsTOP

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