A low-carbon future for New Zealand is within reach, powered by clean energy and underpinned by protecting and restoring nature. We’ve made good progress laying the foundations, but our work is not finished. We’re addressing the long-standing sustainability challenges facing Aotearoa by investing in job-rich, clean energy solutions while working to tackle rising energy costs.
Here are some of the ways we’re making sure we have the energy we need, while staying on track to hit out climate targets:
Reducing our carbon footprint
We’re transitioning to a low-carbon economy, moving New Zealand away from fossil fuels and towards renewable energy. We put an end to any new offshore oil and gas exploration and reformed the Emissions Trading Scheme. We passed the Zero Carbon Act – aiming to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050 – and we’re working to achieve a carbon-neutral public sector by 2025. We’re also upgrading schools and hospitals around the country to run on green energy and supporting businesses to make the switch.
Making prices fair
We’re making sure that Kiwis pay reasonable prices for energy. The Commerce Commission’s report into petrol prices found that motorists were paying too much at the petrol pump. So, we’ve taken action to improve competition in the fuel market and bring down prices. We've provided immediate relief from the global petrol price spike caused by the invasion of Ukraine, with a 25 cent per litre reduction in fuel tax, reduced road user charges and half-price public transport fees. We’re also progressing work to increase transparency and boost competition in the electricity market, to make sure people pay a fairer price for power.
Keeping more Kiwis warm
We believe everyone deserves to live in a warm, healthy home. That’s why we’ve introduced the Healthy Homes Standards, to ensure rental properties meet minimum standards for heating, insulation, and ventilation. Our Winter Energy Payment is helping more than one million New Zealanders stay warm through the colder months, and our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme has already delivered almost 80,000 insulation and heating installs.
Investing in energy infrastructure
We’re making sure our energy infrastructure is fit for purpose while creating jobs and driving our recovery. To help achieve 100% renewable electricity, we’ve undertaken significant work to investigate dry year storage solutions. Our Renewable Energy Fund supports the trialling of renewable technology, such as solar panels and batteries, on public and Māori housing. We’re also investing in projects like flood protection upgrades and recycling facilities to make sure our critical infrastructure is more sustainable.
Backing green innovation
We’re taking advantage of economic opportunities arising from the transition to a low emissions economy. We’ve invested in hydrogen energy facilities, and quadrupled funding for the Green Investment Fund, to accelerate investment in low carbon technology and renewable energy. Through the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund, we’ve supported businesses to improve their productivity and reduce their costs by replacing industrial process heaters to low emissions alternatives – already reducing lifetime emissions by 6.6 million tonnes. We’re also backing cutting edge renewable energy technology through the Renewable Energy Fund, and we’re working with regional New Zealand to identify, develop and maximise each region’s comparative advantages.
Keeping New Zealand moving, more sustainably
Transport is responsible for a large portion of New Zealand’s carbon emissions, so we’re taking action to make getting around greener. We’ve made a good start on supporting New Zealanders to move to an electric or hybrid vehicle. The Clean Car Discount has led to a 15% reduction in emissions from new imported vehicles. We’re supporting more electric vehicles on our roads by co-funding more than 1,200 EV chargers nationwide, and there’s now at least one public EV charger every 75km on almost all New Zealand highways. We’ve introduced the Clean Car Standard to reduce emissions and cut fuel costs for Kiwis. We’re helping councils transition to a zero emissions public bus fleet by 2025, and ensuring more public sector vehicles are electric too. We’ve also established the Low Emissions Transport Fund to encourage innovation and move to more sustainable transport options, whether on the road, by sea, or in the air.
- We are planning ahead for New Zealand's future energy needs and bringing forward the goal of 100% renewable electricity generation by five years to 2030. Read our clean energy plan here.
- We will significantly expand the Just Transitions unit with an additional $5 million per year, to enable us to support regions beyond Taranaki as they navigate the transition to a low emissions future.
- We are seeking to extend the life of the Tiwai Point Aluminium Smelter between three and five years while a locally-led transition for Southland is developed. Read more here.
Labour is already rolling out our plan for a just transition to a low carbon-economy. We’ll continue to invest in the energy sector to create jobs and stimulate the economy, and deliver clean and affordable energy solutions for New Zealand. That’s why we are:
- Helping to keep families warmer with our Warmer Kiwi Homes programme, ensuring an estimated 9,000 additional low incomes homes will be Warmer Kiwi Homes. This will also help to protect people from respiratory disease and create jobs
- Doubling the Winter Energy Payment to help more than 1 million New Zealanders heat their homes and improve their health during winter. More money for heating will serve to stimulate spending as more Kiwis will have more funds to pay for what they need
- Investing $155 million in transformative energy projects as part of our shovel ready infrastructure investments. The shovel-ready investment programme will help kick-start the post-COVID rebuild by creating more than 20,000 jobs.