Our advice and evidence
Read our full draft advice and our supporting evidence
Below is our draft advice and evidence reports. We are also sharing our thinking and you can read an overview of our consultation questions. To share your ideas with us, please make a submission here.
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This report contains the draft advice of He Pou a Rangi – the Climate Change Commission. It includes advice on the first three emissions budgets and on policy direction for the Government’s first emissions reduction plan. Together, these lay out the course for reducing emissions in Aotearoa and set the direction of policy that Aotearoa takes to get there. The Commission was also asked by the Minister for Climate Change to provide advice on the eventual reductions needed in biogenic methane emissions, and on the country’s Nationally Determined Contribution. This advice is provided in Part B of this report.
There is a Te Reo glossary available here.
INTRODUCTION - Download Introduction
This report accompanies the Commission’s draft advice report. This report sets out the detailed evidence that we have drawn upon to support the development of our recommendations and advice.
By presenting this evidence, we hope to support and facilitate informed feedback and responses to our draft advice report and consultation questions, before providing our final advice to the Government and public.
PART 1: OUR PLACE IN THE WORLD
Chapter 1: The science of climate change - Download Chapter 1
Climate change is already happening, and past emissions have locked in further change. By signing up to the Paris Agreement, the world has committed to take action on climate change. Nations are responsible for determining how they will contribute to global efforts to limit warming to well below 2°C and pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels and reduce the risks and impacts of climate change. Aotearoa has set itself the goal in the Climate Change Response Act of contributing to efforts to limit temperature increases to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.
This chapter explores the science on climate change and sets out why urgent action is needed, looking at what effect our current behaviour has and what is at stake. It examines the forces affecting the global temperature, the role of different greenhouse gases and the possible emissions reduction pathways to meeting the 1.5˚C limit.
Chapter 2: What are other countries doing? - Download Chapter 2
Although countries worldwide have signed up to the Paris Agreement, current global efforts are not going far enough to bring about the emissions reductions needed. Reducing global emissions needs to be a collaborative effort and, encouragingly, we are seeing an increasing number of countries committing to net-zero targets.
This chapter looks at how our targets compare with those of other countries, looking at the world’s biggest emitters and our key trading partners, and how our past emissions trends compare to other developed countries.
Chapter 3: How to measure progress - Download Chapter 3
‘Rules for measuring progress’ refers to the system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions over time to understand whether Aotearoa is on track to achieve emissions budgets and the 2050 target.
This chapter outlines the Commission’s role, the objectives and principles used to guide its advice on accounting choices and analysis of a range of accounting matters relevant for emissions budgets. These issues include production versus consumption-based accounting, land emissions accounting, voluntary offsetting and carbon neutrality, and detailed legislative requirements related to the scope and presentation of emissions budgets.
PART 2: OUR CURRENT PATH
Chapter 4: Reducing emissions - opportunities and challenges across sectors - Download Chapter 4
Transitioning to a thriving, climate-resilient and low emissions Aotearoa will create a number of opportunities and challenges across all sectors and communities. This means our analysis has considered a wide range of factors, including existing technology and anticipated technological developments, the costs and benefits of adopting new technology and the impacts on households, employment and regions.
This chapter explores the technologies and practices that could be deployed and outlines what the options and limitations might be across the heat, industry and power; transport, buildings and urban form; agriculture; and waste sectors.
Chapter 4a: Reducing emissions – opportunities and challenges across sectors - Download Chapter 4a
Heat, industry and power
Energy is a necessity in the modern world as a critical input into every good and service in our economy. Energy used in Aotearoa comes from a range of sources including bioenergy, petroleum, coal, natural gas, wind, solar, hydro and geothermal energy. Some of these energy sources can in turn be used to produce other forms of energy like hydrogen or electricity. Different forms of energy production and use have different emissions associated with them. Different forms of energy, such as heat and electricity, enable industries to produce goods and materials. Industrial activities are many and varied, industries all use energy, and some have process emissions as well.
This section outlines the opportunities and some of the key challenges for reducing emissions in heat, industry and power.
Chapter 4b: Reducing emissions - opportunities and challenges across sectors - Download Chapter 4b
Transport, buildings and urban form
Emissions from transport, buildings and urban form currently contribute to total emissions from Aotearoa in a range of ways. Transport has been the most rapidly growing source of emissions for Aotearoa, with road transport emissions accounting for 90% of all transport emissions. Low-density residential developments are associated with higher emissions, while the way buildings are built and operated determines the emissions they produce.
This section outlines the opportunities and some of the key challenges for reducing emissions in transport, urban form and buildings.
Chapter 4c: Reducing emissions – opportunities and challenges across sectors - Download Chapter 4c
Agriculture contributes significantly to the Aotearoa economy, communities and culture. Farming livestock makes up the majority of agricultural emissions, with smaller contributions from horticulture and cropping. Agriculture emits the majority of biogenic methane emissions in Aotearoa and also makes a significant contribution to long-lived gas emissions.
This chapter explores the sources of livestock emissions and opportunities for reducing emissions, including farm management and new technologies, along with the opportunities and challenges for
each option. Emissions from farm vehicles and machinery are covered in the transport and heat, industry and power chapters.
Chapter 4d: Reducing emissions – opportunities and challenges across sectors - Download Chapter 4d
The majority of waste emissions are from biogenic methane, with smaller amounts of carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide also being generated from composting, incineration and wastewater treatment. There are practices and technologies available to reduce the amount of waste and associated emissions. While only emissions at the final destination point of waste are considered in the Greenhouse Gas Inventory, there are also potential emissions reductions opportunities in other sectors that may result in tackling waste.
This chapter explores the sources of emissions from the waste sector and opportunities to reduce them – including avoiding waste, waste recovery, lower-emission landfills and low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants. Refrigerants are covered in this chapter as resource recovery mechanisms such as product stewardship apply to both waste and refrigerants.
Chapter 5: Removing carbon from our atmosphere - Download Chapter 5
Getting to net zero emissions of long-lived gases for Aotearoa will require removals of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This could mean planting more trees or using carbon capture and storage. Whichever measure we decide to take, we must explore options for removing carbon from our atmosphere and the steps we need to take to get there.
This chapter outlines those options in detail, discussing opportunities and challenges and quantifying them when possible.
Chapter 6: Perspectives from Tangata Whenua: Considering emissions reductions and removals from a Te Ao Māori view - Download Chapter 6
Emissions reduction options and associated impacts for iwi and Māori will vary across the motu. Supporting the Crown to be a good Treaty Partner and promoting intergenerationally equitable outcomes for iwi/Māori requires an understanding of the issues and opportunities through a Te Ao Māori lens, from the perspectives of Tangata Whenua.
This chapter draws on He Ara Waiora – A Pathway towards Wellbeing and insights gathered through engagement with Māori to explore potential impacts for iwi/Māori of different emissions reductions options.
We saw many examples where iwi/Māori demonstrate climate positive leadership in their decision making by exercising rangatiratanga and kaitiakitanga, and identify key considerations that Aotearoa should factor into climate positive decisions and actions.
Chapter 7: Where are we currently heading? - Download Chapter 7
This chapter provides a glimpse of what future emissions in Aotearoa could look like if we keep progressing as we are now – with no policy changes or new regulations. It does this through the Current Policy Reference case, which provides the platform that allows us to test and adjust our
thinking to create alternate scenarios which form the basis of our advice. We dive deep into each sector and explore how the future might play out if policies continue as they are. This chapter also introduces our ENZ modelling tool and discusses the possible impacts of COVID-19 on our future emissions.
PART 3: HOW CAN WE REACH OUR CLIMATE GOALS?
Chapter 8: What our future could look like - Download Chapter 8
Developing different scenarios allows us to see what the future could look like in Aotearoa. These scenarios are based on our modelling and analysis and help us determine the course of action we should embark on. This chapter outlines four scenarios: Headwinds, Further Technology Change, Further Behaviour Change and Tailwinds. These scenarios explore the uncertainty around how technologies and social factors could develop and present different ways of achieving our 2050 target.
Chapter 9: Which path could we take? - Download Chapter 9
Our previous chapter set out several different future scenarios. The question is: what path should Aotearoa take now to put itself on track to meet the 2050 targets? The emissions budgets we recommend need to be both ambitious and achievable. This chapter presents analysis which supports the Commission’s path to 2035 for reducing emissions.
Chapter 10: Requests under s5K relating to the NDC and biogenic methane - supporting evidence - Download Chapter 10
We have been asked two additional questions – about the compatibility of Aotearoa’s NDC with the 1.5ᵒC goal, and about what long-term reductions of biogenic methane emissions the country might be required to make. In this chapter, we show our working on how we have used the IPCC modelling in our assessment of the NDC. We also discuss the long-term global and local trends that will influence what contribution reductions of biogenic methane might need to make to limiting warming in the future.
PART 4: WHAT COULD THIS MEAN FOR NEW ZEALANDERS?
Chapter 11: Introduction: What could this mean for New Zealanders? - Download Chapter 11
The climate change transition for Aotearoa will bring opportunities, benefits, challenges and costs. The way we transition will have both positive and negative impacts on different groups of society, regions, sectors of the economy and generations.
Aotearoa can transition in a way that considers the wellbeing of people, the land and the environment. This Part does not attempt to ‘sum up’ the positive and negative impacts of our transition but instead addresses each potential impact in turn – looking at where impacts could be compounded and how they could be managed.
Chapter 12: How we earn our way in the world - Download Chapter 12
The impact of emissions reductions on the country’s economy will depend on the pace with which Aotearoa acts, the costs of reducing emissions and global action. Aotearoa needs strong, accelerated and predictable action so that businesses have predictability about where the country is headed, and to put us on a track where future generations inherit a thriving, climate-resilient and low-emissions economy.
This chapter looks at impacts on the economy; energy, food and fibre systems; businesses and workers; and the challenges and opportunities they would face from transitioning to a thriving, climate-resilient and low-emissions Aotearoa.
Chapter 13: Households and communities - Download Chapter 13
Our modelling suggests that most households would not see an increase in electricity bills and petrol costs over the course of the first three emissions budgets. Energy efficient electric appliances, improvements in fuel efficiency, a shift to electric vehicles and more public transport, walking and cycling, will play an important role in meeting our proposed emissions budgets.
This chapter looks at what impacts the climate transition may have on household bills, on access to transport, and how land use changes could impact the communities of Aotearoa.
Chapter 14: Environment and ecology - Download Chapter 14
There could be positive and negative environmental and ecological impacts of the climate transition for Aotearoa. In addition to reducing our emissions, using low carbon technologies and changing land practices could have broader environmental impacts, including on biodiversity, water quality and air quality.
This chapter looks at the environmental and ecological impacts from reducing emissions in the transport, heat, industry and power and land sectors.
Chapter 15: The mitigation – adaptation link - Download Chapter 15
We can already see the physical impacts of climate change in Aotearoa today, and these changes are expected to continue. On a global scale, acting earlier to tackle climate change will reduce total emissions and help to reduce the severity of impacts that we experience from climate change. The difference in impacts between a global temperature rise of 1.5˚C and 2˚C is large and serious. Therefore, it is important that Aotearoa is aware of the impact that contributing to global action to reduce emissions could have on our country’s ability to adapt.
This chapter looks at the mitigation and adaptation link.
PART 5: HOW OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN
Chapter 16: Our approach to policy - Download Chapter 16
The Commission’s vision of a “thriving, climate-resilient and low emissions Aotearoa” guides our approach to developing advice on policy direction. The wellbeing of the planet and the people of Aotearoa, and striving for an equitable and fair transition, remain our focus for reaching a better future. In developing policy, the Government needs to support and consider the wellbeing of iwi/Māori This includes balancing what is good for tangata, the whenua and the wai, upholding whakapapa, enhancing whānaungatanga, and ensuring intergenerational sustainability and prosperity. These are values that are supported by many New Zealanders.
This chapter presents the Commission’s approach to developing our advice on the direction of policy for the emissions reduction plan. It outlines the different elements that will be needed to drive the necessary change. The chapter that follows presents advice on specific policy issues.
Chapter 17: The direction of policy for Aotearoa - Download Chapter 17
Transitioning to low emissions in Aotearoa requires changes across the whole economy and society. The Commission has been tasked to advise on the direction of policy for the emission reduction plan, which will outline the Government’s approach to reducing emissions across all sectors. This chapter focuses on policy that is needed to support emissions reductions in different sectors of the economy, policies that cut across sectors and measures to address the impacts of mitigation policies. In preparing our analysis and advice on the emissions reduction plan, we have drawn on modelling, analysis of emissions reduction measures, uptake barriers, potential impacts and pathways for meeting the 2050 target.
SUPPLEMENTARY DATA AND INFORMATION
Data and modelling
1. Draft advice report charts data and scenarios dataset
2021 draft advice report charts and data.xlsx: contains the underlying data for all of the figures in the Commission’s 2021 Draft Advice report.
2021 draft advice scenarios dataset.xlsx: contains further data for our proposed path to 2035 and the other scenarios featured in our draft advice and evidence reports, for those who want to dive deeper into the numbers.
2. Macroeconomic modelling results and dataset
C-PLAN model results summary.pdf: a slide deck from our modelling consultants introducing the Commission’s C-PLAN model and summarising the results we drew on for our draft advice.
C-PLAN results dataset for 2021 draft advice.xlsx: contains results (and some inputs) from the C-PLAN model that we drew on in our draft advice.
Please note that:
- The C-PLAN modelling was undertaken before the most recent update to government agencies’ greenhouse gas emissions projections, and drew mainly on projections from 2019. For this and other reasons, the current policy reference case in the C-PLAN modelling exercise differs to that in our bottom-up scenarios provided above.
- This modelling was also undertaken before the Commission's path to 2035 was determined, and none of the model runs align directly with our proposed path or emissions budget recommendations. In our advice, we have used transition paths 3 and 4 to provide a range for the potential impacts associated with our path and budgets.
- Where the term "carbon prices" is used in the results summary, this refers to modelled emissions values and does not represent prices in the existing ETS scheme.
3. Expert review of our modelling
Our proposed emissions budgets use evidence from economic models. Experts from Aotearoa and around the world have reviewed these models and agreed that they are high quality and up for the job.
The experts said that they were “impressed by both the scope and detail of the modelling efforts, and believe that these provide a robust quantitative framework to support ambitious climate policy proposals for Aotearoa”. Our economy wide model C-PLAN was also described as being ‘best in class’.
The reviews give us confidence that our models help us to produce the best possible evidence to support our proposed emissions budgets. The reviews can be accessed here:
4. Our modelling process webinar
This presentation was used in our pre-consultation modelling webinar which you can watch here. If you don’t want to watch the full webinar recording but are interested in how the Commission has been building the evidence to support our future advice, you can look through the slides: Our modelling approach
Climate science considerations of global mitigation pathways and implications for Aotearoa - Download here
We recently commissioned an independent short study on the science of mitigation pathways consistent with limiting warming to 1.5˚C, focusing on trade-offs between pathways that involve reductions in different gases.
The work was undertaken by climate scientists from outside Aotearoa and reviewed by experts familiar with emissions in Aotearoa. The paper was written by Piers Forster (University of Leeds), Richard Millar (UK Climate Change Committee) and Jan Fuglestvedt (Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research Norway).
The paper highlights several findings:
- It is still possible for the world to limit warming to below 1.5˚C – future warming will be determined by the number of greenhouse gas emissions over the coming decades
- In modelled scenarios, keeping warming to 1.5˚C requires long-lived emissions to reach net zero and a reduction in short-lived gases such as biogenic methane by 2050
- There are multiple possible global pathways compatible with 1.5˚C
- Pathways that reach net zero long-lived emissions sooner allow a greater rate of short-lived emissions to be maintained and vice-versa
- What the contribution from Aotearoa should be to the global effort is not a scientific question but one driven by fairness and equity principles