Think tank backs path to low-emissions

The Minister for Climate Change says a Productivity Commission draft report into New Zealand’s transition to a low-emissions economy supports work the Government is already putting in place to get there.

“The Productivity Commission’s draft report clearly shows it is possible for New Zealand to transition to a low-emissions economy and the Government is already doing or planning to do many of the things that will make this happen,” says James Shaw.

“As the Productivity Commission points out, this transition to a low-emissions economy will require major changes but New Zealand can achieve those changes and reap the rewards.

“Some of the recommendations made in the Productivity Commission’s draft report are already on this Government’s work programme; such as:

  • setting an ambitious long-term target for emissions reductions and putting that target into legislation - namely the Zero Carbon Act,
  • establishing a Climate Change Commission,
  • reforming the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS),
  • considering the option of bringing agriculture into the ETS,
  • considering options for disclosure of climate-related financial risks, which we have asked officials to work on, and
  • considerations underway on how emissions reduction can be factored into transport funding decisions, through the proposed new Government Policy Statement.

“The Commission’s work is extremely useful to help build the framework that will see New Zealand reach a net zero emissions goal by 2050. The Commission has provided strong, practical advice and evidence that we can use to ensure a just and effective transition.

“It adds to a growing body of information we have to work with; including the Coastal Hazards Guidance for local government and the Climate Change Adaptation Technical Working Group, which, in the next few weeks, is due to release its latest report into options for adapting to the risks and impacts of climate change.

“This draft report is now open for feedback and the Government looks forward to what comes from that, just as we are also keen to see New Zealanders provide their input into consultation around what our Zero Carbon legislation should look like, which is due to start soon,” Mr Shaw says.

People wanting to stay updated on consultation for the Zero Carbon Bill can register at: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/have-your-say-zero-carbon