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Business Leaders Outline Commitment To Ambitious Climate Action Targets

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) have reinforced their joint commitment to ambitious climate action in responding to the Climate Change Commission’s consultation on three significant reports.

SBC members and CLC signatories represent more than 160 New Zealand businesses, who contribute more than 40 percent of the country’s GPD.

In responding to the Commission’s reports on Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2050 emissions reduction target review, the fourth emissions budget, and the potential inclusion of international aviation and shipping emissions into the 2050 target, the joint submission sets out a range of responses. These include:

  • support for a potential change to the 2050 emissions reduction target to increase ambition, if warranted by the evidence;
  • support of the proposed level of the fourth emissions budget, emphasising the need for an explicit focus on gross emissions reductions; and
  • support for the inclusion of international aviation and shipping in the 2050 target.

"SBC members remain firmly committed to the country’s Paris Agreement contributions," says SBC Executive Director Mike Burrell.

"Our businesses believe, if supported by evidence, any change to our emissions reduction targets should serve only to strengthen New Zealand’s climate ambition and contribution to addressing climate change."

Both SBC and CLC recognise and agree the bar for changes to the 2050 target should be high and changes to targets should be infrequent to ensure buy-in from those who will ultimately be delivering the emissions reduction outcomes.

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Members also recognise the importance of setting an ambitious fourth emissions budget in creating a pathway to transition to a net zero emissions, climate resilient economy.

"Our businesses believe gross emissions reductions are important, and removals should be primarily focused on native afforestation and appropriate nature-based solutions," says Mr Burrell.

"An effective combination of pricing for the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and complementary policy measures will get us there, and members have called for policy stability across Governments, giving investment certainty for business."

CLC Convenor and Spark CEO Jolie Hodson says, "It’s critical the long-term signals remain clear to give our businesses the certainty they need to continue to invest and take action in line with Aotearoa’s climate goals."

"Our signatories remain committed to the ambitions set out by the Paris Agreement, and are striving to reduce their emissions at pace, while simultaneously building their resilience to the impacts of a rapidly changing climate that are already here."

The joint submission also outlines SBC and CLC’s support of the inclusion of international aviation and shipping emissions in the 2050 target. It emphasises the importance of differentiating between the rationale for considering the inclusion, and the consequential treatment of aviation and shipping due to the distinct difference in the decarbonisation trajectories of each industry.

Mr Burrell says, "As the Climate Change Commission continues its important work on these critical issues, SBC and CLC stand ready to work alongside the Commission and the Government to continue the momentum required to achieve New Zealand’s domestic and international climate commitments, while ensuring a thriving, sustainable economy for all."

A copy SBC/CLC’s full joint submission to the Climate Change Commission can be found here.

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