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Is Business Prepared For 2050?

The Climate Change Commission’s advice for reshaping the New Zealand economy should be carefully considered by both Government and business, BusinessNZ Chief Executive Kirk Hope says.

This first package of advice lays out the pathways needed to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

"The Commission has signalled a clear pathway the country needs to take over the next 15-years in setting its budgets out to 2035. Government will need to provide policy certainty for businesses as they seek to meet emissions reductions targets set out in the budgets. There will be opportunities for business, but they need a clear direction of travel.

"We are particularly interested in the Commissions assessment of the net cost of action and will take some time to work through the assumptions that underpin those costs and what that might mean for businesses."

BusinessNZ Energy Council (BEC) Executive Director Tina Schirr says the year ahead will be defined by the development of climate change action frameworks, and business must work closely with Government to implement the Commission’s advice.

"Our BEC2060 energy scenarios, which provide two plausible stories on how things might turn out depending on how quickly we decarbonise and adopt new technologies, will support a careful assessment of the Climate Change Commission’s advice.

"The Commission has called for an energy strategy going forward, something BEC supports. In addition, it proposes a renewable energy target of 60% by 2035 (currently 40%). This will require the adoption of new technologies and collaboration between businesses in the energy sector. Interestingly, the Commission suggests by 2035 the heat, industry and power sectors will have to reduce emissions by about 44%, which will be challenge for many businesses.

"It is clear from the Commission’s recommendations that transport must do much of the heavy-lifting. It recommends by 2035 there be no more light ICE vehicles coming into the country. This week the Government announced it will pass Clean Car Import Standard legislation to cut emissions and fuel costs. Now is the time for companies to start thinking about electrifying their fleets," Ms Schirr says.

Mr Hope says the Commission’s recommendation infrastructure be future-proofed is particularly important.

"Bringing forward long-term investments will accelerate the pathway towards our zero-carbon targets, create jobs and boost the economy.

"Cross-party support and engagement from business is critical to achieving net zero emissions by 2050. We look forward to working closely with the Commission on what these recommendations will mean for business."

During the consultation period (February 1 - March 14), the BusinessNZ Network will be running events with the Commission to give you a chance to hear directly from Chair Rod Carr, Chief Executive Jo Hendy, and representatives from the Commission's technical teams.

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