New guidance for climate action at the local level

The Government has released new guidance to support stronger links between New Zealand’s climate change goals, and local and regional planning.

From today, it has become a legal requirement for local governments to consider the Government’s National Adaptation Plan and Emissions Reduction Plan when preparing or changing regional policy statements, regional plans, and district plans under the Resource Management Act.

The new requirement builds on changes made in 2020 that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act. 

“This new guidance will help central and local governments work together to put our climate plans into action as we make the transition to a low-emission, resilient future that benefits everyone,” said Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw.

“Over the last four years this Government has laid the foundations for climate action in every part of Aotearoa.

“The Emissions Reduction Plan, released in May, is a blueprint for cutting emissions in a way that makes life better for everyone, protects nature, and improves our communities. Whereas the National Adaptation Plan will ensure communities have the information and support they need to prepare for the impacts of climate change we cannot avoid.

“Up and down the country, communities want more information and support as they take steps to cut emissions and prepare for climate impacts. The guidance released today will provide this support and help guide local governments towards a low carbon, climate-resilient future for the communities they represent,” said James Shaw.

A copy of the guidance is available here.