New Zealand Climate Change Minister, David Parker, is reported as saying that the change in new Government limousines from the Ford Fairlane to diesel BMW 730Ld cars was because the Government "walks the talk" on sustainability, leading it to purchase the German BMW car. This decision is said to have been made because of the cars considered, the BMW was the most fuel-efficient and the second-best in emission standards.
The reported fuel consumption saving is actually quite modest, from 10.21 litres/100km (27.7 mpg) for the Ford Fairlane to 8.1 litres/100km (34.9 mpg) for the BMW, and the reduction in carbon dioxide emissions is reported to be from 260 to 212 grams per kilometre travelled.
"The catch is that the BMW cars are reported to cost the Government nearly twice as much as the Ford Fairlane, and that sends entirely the wrong message on climate change mitigation measures" said John Blakeley, Editor of EnergyWatch, the journal of the Sustainable Energy Forum.
Blakeley said that the correct message on climate change mitigation which the Government should be conveying is that by being clever and using the latest available technology, it is possible to make considerable energy savings and reduction in greenhouse gas emissions at little or no extra cost.
"It would be a quite ridiculous position for the Government to say that a saving of about 2.1litres/100km (7 mpg) in fuel consumption justifies spending almost twice as much money on the purchase of Ministerial cars" Mr Blakeley said.
"The Government should be urging all New Zealanders to take many actions which result in significant savings in their energy consumption without them incurring much additional cost, and should be setting it's own example in doing this when it purchases new limousines" Blakeley added.
Vanessa Arellano Doctor