Statement of Intent 2020 - 2024

The Commission at a glance

  • We are a new independent Crown entity set up to provide expert, evidence-based advice to successive governments to help Aotearoa transition to a climate-resilient and low-emissions future.
  • We also monitor and review the Government’s progress towards its emissions reduction and adaptation goals.
  • Our independence means we can provide impartial advice, challenge and hold the Government to account for action on climate change.
  • We are a small team dedicated to ensuring we can pass a better Aotearoa on to future generations. We have a range of expertise, including in economics, public policy, land and resource management, Māori sector, climate science, behavioural sciences, forestry, agriculture and energy. We are supported by a board of seven commissioners, also from varying fields.
  • The Commission was established by an amendment to the Climate Change Response Act 2002 (the Act) called the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019.
    We work to achieve the deliverables and timeframes set out in the Act.
  • This includes reviewing the 2050 emissions reduction target, providing advice on the preparation of emissions budgets and emissions reduction plans, monitoring progress towards meeting emissions budgets, emissions reduction plans and the 2050 target, preparing national climate change risk assessments, and monitoring and reporting on the implementation of national adaptation plans.
  • With the passing of the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Act 2020 by Parliament, we are taking on additional functions including advising on settings for the Emissions Trading Scheme and reporting on progress on primary sector climate change commitments. 
  • From time to time, the Minister for Climate Change will ask us for advice on specific topics. We also provide other independent advice on matters we believe will impact on the ability of Aotearoa to meet its climate change goals.
  • The Climate Change Response Act requires us to draw from the best available evidence and analysis and to think broadly about the impacts of climate change and the implications for
  • Aotearoa over time. In doing so, we take a wide systems view so we understand what our advice will mean for central and local government, for individuals and households, for business sectors and communities, for Iwi/Māori, and for our economy and our environment now and into the future.
  • We are committed to taking an inclusive approach, working collaboratively with others so we can grow consensus and inspire action to change.
  • The Act also requires us to uphold the Treaty partnership and give specific consideration to impacts for Māori. As an organisation we will endeavour to build meaningful and respectful relationships with Iwi/Māori.
  • The Commission’s work programme directly reflects two of the Government’s key issues in This is Our Plan – 1D. Transition to a clean, green carbon neutral New Zealand (under “An economy that is growing and working for all of us”) and 3D. Create an international reputation we can be proud of (under “Making New Zealand proud”).

See Glossary for an explanation of terms.