In 2019, we established the Climate Change Commission to provide independent advice on climate change action and to hold this Government and future Governments to account. Today, the Commission's final advice was released. It sets out the total amount of global warming pollution Aotearoa must cut by 2035 to be on track to meet our goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
We’re already feeling the effects of a warming climate – if emissions remain high, the results will be catastrophic for Aotearoa. Acting now is not a choice. It’s an imperative.
But it is also an opportunity.
There is so much to gain – new jobs and opportunities for Kiwi businesses, lower household energy bills, a more sustainable agriculture sector, less air pollution, an enviable global brand, warmer, drier homes, exciting new technologies, protection of native species and eco-systems, cost savings for businesses, and overall resilience.
The Commission’s report clearly demonstrates that acting now makes more economic sense than waiting, and that we can reduce emissions while continuing to grow the economy. The report shows that the Government has been acting in all the right areas, but this action needs to be accelerated.
Climate change is our nuclear free moment, and this Government is equal to the challenge ahead. We will now take the Commission’s report away and prepare an Emissions Reduction Plan, to be completed by the end of the year. The plan will set out actions across a range of areas – including energy, transport, waste, agriculture, construction and financial services – to ensure we meet our first Emissions Budget (for 2022-2025).
Two further Emissions Budgets (2026-2030 and 2031-2035) will also be set, laying out the total limit on emissions over these periods. These plans will build on the work we’re already doing to lay the foundations for lasting climate action.
We’ll be keeping you updated, as key initiatives are announced and the plan is finalised, so be sure to keep checking in here. You can also stay in the loop with the latest announcements by signing up to our mailing list and following us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
As a Government, we’ve been anticipating the Commission’s report, but we have not waited for it to take action. Over the last three and a half years, we’ve been working toward a smarter, greener, more resilient New Zealand.
Here's how we've been taking action:
Ended new offshore oil and gas exploration
Passed the landmark Zero Carbon Act, with a target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050
Declared a Climate Emergency and committed the public service to carbon neutrality by 2025
Established the Climate Change Commission
Overhauled the Emissions Trading Scheme and put a sinking lid on emissions for the first time
Overseen the more than doubling of the carbon price, from $17/tonne to $37/tonne
Started planting a billion trees and invested $1.2 billion in Jobs for Nature
Invested billions of dollars of into buses and trains, cycling and walking infrastructure
Started upgrading schools and hospitals to ensure they run on clean energy
Reduced barriers to installing solar panels on residential and commercial buildings
Invested in EV charging infrastructure around the country
Started to replace the entire Government fleet with zero-emission vehicles
Brought in vehicle emissions standards for new imports for the first time in New Zealand history
Set up a new energy research centre in Taranaki to kickstart the hydrogen economy
Made Greenstar 6 the minimum build standard for all new state homes
Brought back the mandate to include biofuels in the petrol we’ll still use in our cars for years to come
Helping businesses to switch to clean energy with the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry fund
Quadrupling funding to the Green Investment Fund – backing technology and innovation to help us deliver a low carbon economy
Started the Building for Climate Change programme to cut emissions from building and construction
Increased subsidies for home insulation
Conducted the first nationwide Climate Change Risk Assessment
Committed millions of dollars to flood defences in some of our most vulnerable communities
Published climate change curriculum resources for schools
Doubled our climate change related aid to the Pacific
Became the first country in the world to legislate for a price on agricultural emissions
Building the world’s only farm-level emissions measurement, management and pricing system
Introduced legislation to require all listed companies and large financial institutions to report on climate-related risks