Transition to a Low Carbon Freight Transport System in New Zealand

14 December 2021

Swire Shipping has commissioned the EPECentre to research the carbon footprint of freight transport in New Zealand.

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    Transition Engineering Methodology (InTIME©)

New Zealand has committed to achieving the COP21 Paris agreement imperative to ensure the temperature rise is limited well below the 2°C global warming safety limit. This implies that New Zealand must reduce fossil fuel consumption by 80%. The transportation sector corresponds to half of the national energy use and represents 40% of the emissions. The pathway to limit and reduce the emissions associated with transport of freight, goods and people is unknown.

Planning the transition of freight transport involves organization of complex development issues into a set of modelling investigations. Transition engineering contemplates a seven-step framework shown in the diagram above, the InTIME© Interdisciplinary Transition Innovation, Management and Engineering Methodology developed by Professor Susan Krumdieck. It aims to contribute to understanding complex systems and discover down-shift projects.

EPECentre has secured an action-based research project, funded by Swire Shipping, evaluating the opportunity to engineer transition to a low carbon freight transport system in New Zealand. We are in Phase 1 (Step 2 in the above diagram) of the project over the next year, where we will deliver a baseline of direct tank-to-wheel transport Greenhouse Gas emissions for key commodities and modes. The project is multi-disciplinary and will be delivered in collaboration with Maths and Statistics and Geography departments at University of Canterbury as well as Prof. Susan Krumdieck, at the Heriot-Watt University in UK.

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