Advice to inform the second Nationally Determined Contribution

We have been asked to provide advice to the Government to help inform Aotearoa New Zealand’s second Nationally Determined Contribution.

Every country needs to set a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement, which aims to limit the global average temperature increase to well below 2 degrees and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 degrees above preindustrial levels.

On 9 October 2023, the Minister of Climate Change confirmed his request for advice to help inform Aotearoa New Zealand's second NDC. This must be set by 2025 and will be the country’s international commitment to reducing net greenhouse gas emissions from 2031–2035.

This request from the Minister was made under section 5K of the Climate Change Response Act, which allows the Government of the day to request advice on specific topics at any time, following consultation with the Commission on the Terms of Reference. We are satisfied the Minister’s request meets the requirements of the Act.

The Climate Change Response Act also requires the Commission to publish the terms of Reference as soon as practicable once the request has been made. The Board of the Commission noted the request at a Special Board meeting held on 12 October 2023. The Commission’s advice to inform the second Nationally Determined Contribution is to be provided to the Minister of Climate Change by 31 December 2024.

We provided advice to the Minister on Aotearoa New Zealand’s first NDC. This was included in our first advice to the Government, Ināia tonu nei: A low emissions future.

Terms of reference

What is an NDC?

An NDC is the international emissions reduction target that we sign up to achieving under the Paris Agreement. It is intended to be a statement of a country's best efforts to address climate change over a set period.

We understand that our advice will factor into the Government's future decisions about the level of the second NDC, and the extent to which this is met through domestic actions or international mitigations.

The Paris Agreement requires each country to outline and communicate their post-2020 climate actions, known as their NDCs.

Together these actions determine how well the world responds to climate change and whether we limit warming to well-below 2 degrees – the goals of the Paris Agreement.