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National is committed to seeing New Zealand transition to a low emissions economy. That’s why we’re taking a balanced approach that ensures we continue to grow in a way that is good for our planet.

Our unique circumstances means reducing domestic emissions is more challenging than for many other developed countries. This is largely because that there are not yet any affordable or simple ways to reduce agricultural emissions, and because such a large amount of our electricity already comes from renewable sources.

New Zealand has to be smarter and focus our efforts across a range of areas, which is why this National-led Government is:

  • Amongst the first nations to sign and ratify the historic Paris climate change agreement.
  • Committed to reducing emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
  • Phasing out the ETS one-for-two subsidy by 1 January 2019.
  • Further reviewing and strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme to ensure it is fit for purpose and is encouraging reductions and tree planting.
  • Investing $20 million a year into research on agricultural emissions reduction, and $65 million invested so far into the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Emissions.  
  • Spending a record $2 billion on public transport and encouraging the uptake of electric vehicles.
  • Increasing the amount of electricity that comes from renewable energy from 80 per cent currently to 90 per cent.

Reducing global emissions

At the heart of our efforts is the Paris climate change agreement. This historic deal is the first time most nations have agreed to collective emissions reductions actions. New Zealand had a critical role in the negotiations and fought hard to ensure the deal was fair, transparent, and a solid foundation for global efforts.

New Zealand has announced an ambitious target to reduce emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030. Our Emissions Trading Scheme is one of the key tools we have to achieving this target. That’s why we’re reviewing and improving it to ensure it is functioning properly and sending the right signals to businesses and communities to reduce our emissions. Recommendations from next stage of the review are expected later in 2017.

We are also currently working on the next steps and developing a longer term plan that’s going to make a real difference in reducing our emissions, including expert advisory groups in agriculture, forestry and adaptation.

National has also developed:

  • The Biological Emissions Reference Group to build a solid evidence base on reducing biological emissions.
  • The Forestry Reference Group to test evidence, analysis and policy options with sector experts.
  • The Adaptation Technical Working Group to provide advice on adapting to the effects of climate change.
  • The Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre, which is a consortium of nine research organisations led by AgResearch and based in Palmerston North.
  • The Sustainable Land Management and Climate Change research programme, which covers all aspects of climate change in the land-based sectors.
  • The Primary Growth Partnership, a government–industry investment initiative, for research and innovation to boost the economic growth and sustainability of New Zealand’s primary, forestry and food sectors.
  • Minimum energy performance standards and obligatory product labelling for a range of consumer appliances and for vehicle fuel economy.
  • A levy on imported goods and vehicles containing synthetic greenhouse gases (in addition to ETS obligations for bulk importers).
  • Regulation requiring capture of greenhouse gases from large landfills.