Productivity Commission to look at low carbon economy

  • Steven Joyce
  • Paula Bennett
Finance Climate Change Issues

Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett and Finance Minister Steven Joyce have asked the Productivity Commission to review how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of transitioning to a lower carbon economy.

“This next step in our climate change work programme will enable us to properly assess the economic trade-offs that we’ll need to make to meet our ambitious 2030 Paris Agreement target,” says Mrs Bennett.

“In the long-term – 2030 and beyond – New Zealand will likely need to further reduce its domestic emissions in addition to the use of forestry offsets and international emissions reduction units, although these will continue to remain an important part of the country’s climate change response for meeting our targets.”

“New Zealand’s domestic response to climate change is, and will be in the future, shaped by our position as a small, globally connected and trade-dependent country” says Mr Joyce. “The Productivity Commission is well-placed to dispassionately assess which of the many ways of reducing emissions will make the most economic sense for New Zealand.”

Given that climate change is an economy wide-issue, the Commission will be able to draw considerable expertise from a range of stakeholders including: central and local government, the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group, relevant industry and NGO groups, scientific and academic bodies and the general public.

The government is already taking action to support meeting the 2030 target of the Paris Agreement, this includes:

  • Reviewing the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Encouraging the up-take of electric vehicles and other energy efficiency technologies; and
  • Establishing the Global Research Alliance to fund research into emissions mitigation in pasture based livestock systems.

“This complements the work undertaken by the Parliamentary cross-party group GLOBE NZ, as well as the Government’s expert advisory groups on agriculture, forestry and adaptation,” says Mrs Bennett.

“We look forward to the final report and recommendations for how New Zealand should manage a transition to a lower net emissions economy, while still maintaining and improving the incomes and prosperity of New Zealanders,” says Mr Joyce.

The Commission will report back by 30 June 2018.