Aotearoa New Zealand must build momentum on climate action

26 April 2023

Aotearoa New Zealand must accelerate the transition to a low emissions, climate-resilient future, He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission Chair Dr Rod Carr says. 

The Commission today began consultation on draft advice to inform the strategic direction of the Government’s second emissions reduction plan, covering Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2026–2030 emissions budget. 

“We need to build on the momentum from the Government’s first emissions reduction plan, and the changes made by households, businesses, and communities to reduce emissions,” Dr Carr says.

“Increasing renewable electricity generation, the uptake of electric vehicles, conversions away from coal, and reducing agricultural emissions are all positive signs that business and households are increasingly committed to achieving a low emissions future.”  

“But our analysis shows that we still have much more work to do if we are going to meet the next emissions budget and our longer-term climate goals. The Government must now broaden, strengthen, and accelerate action so the country can meet its climate change objectives.” 

“The proposed recommendations in our draft advice are what the Commission considers the highest priority, most urgent actions required to achieve Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2026–2030 emissions budget and enable the country to meet its emissions reduction goals,” Dr Carr says. 

The Commission’s proposed recommendations include: 

  • Accelerating EV charging infrastructure roll out to keep up with demand. 
  • Bringing new renewable electricity generation online faster and making sure local lines companies are able to support growth. 
  • Scaling up efforts to move industry away from coal and other fossil fuels. 
  • Preparing for the rapid roll-out of low emissions technologies and practices on farms. 
  • Retrofitting buildings so they are healthier, more resilient, lower emissions and cheaper  
    to run. 
  • Avoiding new installations of fossil gas where there are affordable low emissions alternatives. 
  • Making it much easier for people to use public transport and active transport. 
  • Improving the capture of methane at landfills. 
  • Accelerating Iwi/Māori emissions reduction by allocating resources directly. 
  • Sorting out the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and the role of forestry. 

“For our advice to be relevant, usable, and practical, our thinking needs to be informed by a range of diverse perspectives from across the motu. Consultation is the opportunity to share those views with us,” Dr Carr says.  

“Our advice will help guide the strategic direction of policy development, which in turn needs to send clear signals to businesses and households about the importance and benefits of taking actions to reduce emissions,” Dr Carr says. 

“However, continued uncertainty and delays could make it challenging for the country to meet its emissions budgets. 

“We encourage New Zealanders to share their views with us. We know from previous experience, engaging with New Zealanders from a variety of sectors and communities improves our mahi, and we are committed to meaningful consultation on this draft advice.” 

Read the full report:

2023 Draft advice to inform the strategic direction of the Government’s second emissions reduction plan