Next steps in our plan to address climate change

As a Government, we made it clear to New Zealanders that we’d take meaningful action on climate change, and that’s exactly what we’ve done.

Earlier today, we released our next steps with our Emissions Reduction Plan – which will meet the Climate Commission’s independent science-based emissions reduction targets, and new investments from the Climate Emergency Response Fund.

We all know that addressing climate change is the right thing to do to safeguard our environment for future generations, but it’s also the smart thing to do – taking action now will reduce cost pressures on Kiwi households.

We can’t opt out of the effects of climate change, so we can’t opt out of taking action. But a low emissions future is achievable for New Zealand, and we’re on our way.

Here’s a bit more on our plan for getting there:

Driving a low emissions New Zealand with our Emissions Reduction Plan

Over the last four years, we’ve laid the foundations for bold, enduring climate action that will reach across governments and generations. Because of this work, New Zealand is on track to bend the curve of its emissions downwards for the first time in its history – but there’s still more to do.

Our Emissions Reduction Plan sets out practical steps towards a net zero future where more people can purchase EVs, our towns and cities have world-leading public and active transport infrastructure, our highest emitters have switched to clean and reliable energy, our farmers are growing food in ways that help the climate, and more of our homes are warmer and more affordable to heat.

This plan will guide the work we do together – Government, businesses, and communities – so that collectively, we transition to a low carbon future in a way that benefits all New Zealanders.

You can read more about the plan here.

Support smart climate solutions with our Climate Emergency Response Fund

We’ve also announced the first investments from our new Climate Emergency Response Fund today. This will help New Zealand to lower emissions by supporting smart, long-term solutions to the climate challenge.

Through our Climate Emergency Response Fund, we’re:

Making clean cars cheaper for families.

Our new Clean Vehicle Upgrade scheme will make it cheaper for low and middle income families to buy low emissions vehicles when they get rid of their old vehicle. Not only will this reduce our emissions, it will also help families with the cost of living.

This is just one way we’re supporting greener transport through the Climate Emergency Response Fund. We’re also improving public transport, investing in urban cycleways and making school transport greener.

We’ve also taken steps to reduce transport emissions, through our Clean Car Discount, rebuilding the rail network, and funding more EV chargers.

Backing even more businesses to switch to clean energy.

We’re expanding the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund so we can support even more Kiwi businesses to switch to cleaner energy and more efficient tech. We’ve established a new grant to help small businesses, farms and factories switch to more efficient equipment and reduce their carbon footprint.

We’re also investing in developing greener energy options, such as hydrogen and offshore renewables, to accelerate our transition to a low emissions economy.

Supporting farmers to cut agricultural emissions with new technology.

Kiwi farmers and growers are leading our economic recovery from COVID-19, and they’ll play a key role as we transition to a low emissions economy.

That’s why we’re establishing a new Centre for Climate Action on Agricultural Emissions, which will speed up the development of new tools and technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Our Government is committed to working alongside farmers to move to a low emissions economy. We’re also backing innovative projects through the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures Fund, supporting farmer-led catchment groups, and investing in integrated farm planning.

These are just some of the initiatives to be supported through the Climate Emergency Response Fund, and they’ll all help to reduce our carbon footprint.

Climate action to protect the planet and to keep costs down for Kiwi families

The actions we’re taking to address climate change are moving New Zealand towards a high wage, low emissions economy that provides greater economic security by creating jobs. But tackling climate change now also means we can bring down the cost of living for Kiwi households.

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will shield households from the volatility of international price hikes while reducing transport and energy bills.

We know that households are already seeing the impact of escalating petrol prices caused by the war in Ukraine – that’s why we acted quickly to cut fuel excise by 25c a litre and introduce half price transport, to provide immediate relief for Kiwis.

Our Emissions Reduction Plan sets out practical ways to cut power, transport and other costs by taking climate friendly actions.

New Zealand’s primary sector revenue has continued to grow with a record $50.8 billion forecast for the year ending June 2022. By working alongside famers to cut agriculture emissions and green our exports, we’re protecting New Zealand sustainable brand in a market where international consumers are looking for products produced with care for the climate.

We’ve taken steps to address climate change since day one. You can find out more about our action on climate here, and our work to improve New Zealand’s energy here.