NZ commits to a just transition

New Zealand has joined with a range of other countries and committed to a just transition to a low carbon future, the Minister of Climate Change James Shaw announced today.

The International Just Transition Declaration, launched overnight at COP26 in Glasgow, acknowledges that countries must respond to the climate crisis in a way that is fair to everyone.

“The global transition to a low carbon future needs to be a fair and equitable transition that leaves no community, no family, and no person behind,” James Shaw said.

“The way previous Governments have managed periods of economic change in New Zealand has left too many families and vulnerable communities behind. This time has to be different.  

“Our Government has been working to build a low carbon future for Aotearoa New Zealand, where everyone has a secure income that pays enough for them to put a warm roof over their heads and food on the table. We have also established a Just Transition Unit, which was expanded in Budget 2021, and the Future of Work Forum to build resilience in those communities most affected by economic change. This work is supporting communities to plan and manage their transitions in a fair and equitable way. Signing the declaration today builds on this work.

“The Emissions Reduction Plan we publish next year will set out how we will transition to a low carbon future in a just, inclusive and equitable way. That means transition planning with business, unions, iwi, and affected communities at the table; accessible education and training opportunities; support for working families; and making sure we fully understand the distributional impacts of climate policies on population groups.

“There is no doubt that the transition to a low carbon future is an historic opportunity – the creation of new jobs and opportunities for Kiwi businesses; lower household energy bills; a more sustainable agriculture sector; an enviable global brand; warmer, drier homes; new technologies; cost savings for businesses; and greater resilience in the face of increasing uncertainty.

“Our Government is committed to making sure we that we go about capturing these gains in a way that is fair for everyone,” James Shaw said.

Further Information

A copy of the International Just Transition Declaration is available here.

There are 15 signatories to declaration: EU Commission, UK, USA, Canada, Poland, Spain, New Zealand, Norway, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Italy and Belgium.