Aotearoa sets course for net zero with first three emissions budgets

Climate Change Minister James Shaw today announced New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets, another milestone on the road to a carbon-free future.

“Today’s announcement means our net zero future is closer than ever. Much more needs to be done, but putting these binding budgets in place is an essential part of our strategy to rapidly reduce the pollution that causes climate change.

“Respecting budgets will help create new industries and high value-added jobs; reduction in household energy bills; a more climate-friendly agricultural sector; warmer, drier homes; exciting new technologies; protection of native species and ecosystems; cost savings for businesses; and greater resilience in the face of growing global uncertainty,” said James Shaw.

An emissions budget is the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be released into the atmosphere over a period of time. The three emissions budgets announced today define the total amount of emissions that New Zealand must reduce over the next 14 years. The zero carbon law requires that emissions budgets be achieved only through national actions.

“During the last term of government, we passed legislation that enshrined in law a long-term goal to achieve net zero by 2050. To keep all future governments on track to achieve the goal From net zero, the Zero Carbon Act established a system of five-year emissions budgets that would act as stepping stones towards the 2050 goal.

“The first three emissions budgets I am announcing today will allow New Zealand to play its full part in the global effort to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees,” said James Shaw.

The emissions reduction plan, which Minister Shaw confirmed today will be released on Monday May 16, will set out exactly how the government plans to meet the first emissions budget. The Minister of Finance will also present the first investments of the Climate Emergency Response Fund on the same day.

“The actions taken by our government over the past four and a half years have already reduced the trajectory of our future emissions. But we know we need to do a lot more to really bend the curve down until we hit net zero.

“That’s why the Emissions Reduction Plan I’ll be releasing next week is so important – because it requires almost every sector of government to act to reduce emissions across the country and to ensure that all New Zealanders benefit. of transition.

“The Emissions Reduction Plan will be a blueprint for a more equitable, prosperous and innovative future – and all within planetary boundaries,” said James Shaw.

In its advice to the government, the Commission on Climate Change recommended a special parliamentary debate on the first three emissions budgets, before the publication of the emissions reduction plan itself. This debate will take place next Thursday.

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Denise W. Whigham