Part of our role includes providing the Government with proactive advice on key issues. This includes issues that could impact Aotearoa’s ability to meet its climate change goals and/or will assist us to fulfil our role.

Response to COVID-19 Recovery (Fast-track Consenting) Bill 

We have provided feedback to the Minister for the Environment David Parker on the Government's proposed changes to the RMA consenting process. The changes would see consents fast tracked in an effort to stimulate recovery following COVID-19. 

Our advice has been sent in the form of a letter that you can read here

The Commission's view is that the projects approved under the COVID-19 Recovery Bill must be consistent with the Climate Change Response Act. This means applying a climate change lens to all projects seeking approval. Our recovery must not create future problems that themselves may cause large public and private costs. We have suggested any project that would lock in high emissions technology or systems and threaten our ability to meet our targets be declined. 

We have also urged the Government to be guided by the principles we proposed in April. 

Response to Budget 2020

We have provided feedback to the Government on the initiatives announced through Budget 2020. We recognise the extraordinary conditions that drove this year’s Budget. We acknowledge this is a time of huge uncertainty, but it is also one of opportunity. What we plan for and build now is what we have in the future. 

Our feedback has been sent to Climate Change Minister James Shaw in the form of a letter that can be found here.

Assistance for economic recovery following Covid-19 (six principles for recovery)

The Climate Change Commission has offered our assistance to the Government as it plans for economic recovery following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The advice has been sent to Climate Change Minister James Shaw in the form of a letter that can be found here.

This advice is in the form of six principles that can be used to guide a stimulus that creates jobs, ensures economic growth and keeps New Zealand on track to achieving its climate goals.

Review of New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution and biogenic methane

Minister for Climate Change James Shaw has asked the Climate Change Commission to review New Zealand’s first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) under the Paris Agreement.

A copy of Minister Shaw’s request to the Commission can be found here. The Terms of Reference for the request are here.

The purpose of the review is to ensure the NDC is compatible with the goal, unanimously agreed by Parliament last year, of limiting global warming to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels.

An NDC is a statement of a country’s best efforts to address climate change over a set period. New Zealand has committed to an average 30 percent reduction on 2005 emission levels over 2021-2030.

Alongside this, the Minister has asked for advice on the potential reduction in biogenic methane, which might eventually be required by New Zealand as part of the global efforts under the Paris Agreement.

We will include the review in our public and stakeholder engagement programme and provide our advice alongside our recommendations for the first three emissions budgets.

Emissions Trading Reform Bill submission

On February 10 2020, we provided a written submission to the Environment Committee on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill 2019. The submission can be found here.

Emissions Trading Scheme unit supply and price control settings submission

On February 28 2020, we provided a written submission to the Ministry for the Environment’s consultation on proposed settings for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme. 

At a high level, we have fed back that it’s encouraging to see the Emissions Trading Scheme being strengthened, but that improvements are needed to provide more transparency and better align the unit supply and price control settings with the legislative objectives and framework.

We hope our feedback on this will make the proposals more robust, highlight further work that’s needed, and enhance transparency and understanding of the NZ ETS.