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NZers are invited to help decide new climate change law

Hon James Shaw
Minister for Climate Change

New Zealanders are invited to help decide new climate change law

The next major step to reduce New Zealand’s emissions and build our resilience to climate change is underway, Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced today.

The Minister has launched a six week public consultation on the Zero Carbon Bill.

It will involve discussing important questions such as:

• Should a new emissions reduction target for 2050 treat all gases that cause climate change the same, or should we take a different approach to different gases depending on whether they cause short-term or long-term warming?
• How do we ensure settings laid down in law provide the necessary certainty to business and communities?
• What’s the right balance of power between the Independent Climate Change Commission and the government of the day?
• And how should we manage the impacts of climate change and develop a plan to adapt?
“The Zero Carbon Bill is about providing stability and predictability, by setting out a clear path and a plan to upgrade our economy and help ensure a stable climate for the future,” says James Shaw.

“Over the weeks ahead we want to hear people’s views on what the Zero Carbon Bill should do to help New Zealanders reach a low emissions future.

“The impacts of climate change are already real with more damage caused by storms, droughts, coastal and river floods, which don’t just affect property but also have impacts on where and how New Zealanders live and work.

“Making a plan and taking common sense action now will help avoid sudden changes in the future. That’s why we want an independent Climate Change Commission to take a long term view as we plan our economic transition.

“The economic analysis we’ve done shows that our economy can continue to grow as we reduce emissions and underlines the importance of innovation and planting trees.

“We know that taking action sooner will reduce costs in the long term, and also that action to reduce our impact on the climate will lead to less traffic congestion, cleaner water, and cleaner air.

“This is New Zealand’s chance to upgrade our economy. Businesses across many sectors, from energy generation to manufacturing to agriculture, are already taking action or committing to action.

“We can develop new jobs in areas like forestry, alternative energy, electric vehicles, agricultural research and more so we can take advantage of the change.

“We have looked at what’s worked overseas, in places like the UK, and we’ve listened to experts in New Zealand, like the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and the Productivity Commission, and now it’s time for all Kiwis to have their say.

“There’s no doubt that the change we need to make is significant but planning ahead gives us the best chance of maximising the opportunities and minimising the impacts of change so our transition is just and fair for people.

“A strong 2050 emissions reduction target will show the world we mean what we say and give us a moral mandate to encourage other bigger countries to do their bit too.”

Consultation will run for six weeks from 7 June through to 19 July.

For more information please see the Ministry for the Environment website

For more information on the Zero Carbon Bill consultation and for the dates of public meetings and hui around the country visit

Final_Zero_Carbon_Bill__Discussion (pdf)

Background information
*An interim Climate Change Committee was established in April 2018 starting work on considering matters such as whether agriculture might enter into the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZETS), and planning now for the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity generation by 2035.

The Interim Committee will consult with stakeholders and hand over its work and analysis to the Climate Change Commission, which will be established under the Zero Carbon Act in 2019.

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