Call to Make Cars Green at UN World Environment Day 


06/06/2008 
Tony Bliss, New Zealand MP Helen Clark and David Ward 
Tony Bliss, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and David Ward launch Make Cars Green
David Ward addresses the New Zealand Parliament on World Environment Day.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark has joined FIA Foundation Director General David Ward and the World Bank's Road Safety Specialist Tony Bliss in launching the Make Cars Green campaign during UN World Environment Day.

Speaking at a high level Transport and the Environment Summit held in the New Zealand Parliament, Clark said that the campaign would provide consumers with the information and resources to "buy and drive green". The New Zealand Government was playing host to World Environment Day on 5 June and pledged to lower carbon emissions. Also addressing the Summit was Shoshi Arakawa, Chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Corporation which is supporting the Make Cars Green campaign.  

Clark was optimistic that targets for greener motoring can be met. “I have no doubt that we will succeed in making our transport system more sustainable,” she said.

“There will be more hybrid and full electric vehicles. More freight will be carried by rail and sea. More people will use public transport, or walk, or cycle. There will be lower greenhouse gas emissions as travel behaviour changes; and the use of alternative fuels, such as in electric vehicles, becomes widespread.”

The Make Cars Green campaign, which is led by FIA member clubs, is playing its part with a 10 point guide for greener motoring. Drivers are encouraged to adopt a series of simple measures to reduce the impact of motoring on the environment. They include: checking tyre pressure frequently, avoid driving with unnecessary onboard weight and accelerate gently and keep your speed constant.

In an interview with New Zealand's national radio station, David Ward said that big changes in vehicle fuel efficiency are also needed.

"The forecasts which are pretty astonishing are that over the next 20 to 30 years the vehicle fleet will double in size as China and India and other countries motorise like we did in the 1950s, 60s and 70s. At a global level we are facing a huge increase in the amount of vehicles in use and that's one of the drivers behind the oil price. What we need is much more fuel efficient vehicles to accommodate for the huge growing global demand for motorised travel."

Mike Noon, Motoring Affairs General Manager for AA New Zealand, which organised the Summit, said the campaign has a key role to play in taking forward new approaches to transport.

“Make Cars Green encourages consumers to go green representing motorists’ ecological concerns towards government and manufacturers, and the introduction of environmental initiatives into motoring. The campaign aims to encourage a radical rethink of the way cars are considered in society, by being at the forefront of encouraging considerate and ecologically sound mobility.”

The Environment, Transport and the Environment Summit was held in the New Zealand Parliament’s Legislative Council Chamber and attended by representatives from Asian and Pacific motoring clubs, car manufacturers, oil companies, MPs, academia, transport stakeholders, the business community and government departments.

Click here to see further information on the Make Cars Green website >

Click here to listen to David Ward's Radio NZ interview (1.8mb/.wma) >

Click here to download David Ward's PowerPoint presentation >