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Business Calls For Cross-party Support On The Emissions Budgets

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) and the Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) welcome today’s release of the Climate Change Commission’s final advice to Government as a major milestone for New Zealand’s zero carbon future.

Executive Director of the Sustainable Business Council, Mike Burrell, says the Commission’s advice is critical in getting New Zealand on track to achieving our emissions reduction targets. "This report is a milestone. But it is a first step. We look forward to working with government on the development of the Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) to ensure that the policies are ambitious and informed by the practical perspectives of our members," he says.

Mike Bennetts, Z Energy Chief Executive and Climate Leaders Coalition Convenor, says the steps Government takes in response to this advice will be vital in determining the success of New Zealand’s transition.

"I am pleased to see the Commission recommend the Government seek cross-party support on the emissions budgets. The investment choices that businesses make will determine the success of New Zealand’s transition. Bipartisanship on the budgets is essential to provide the certainty we need to make those decisions. There will be opportunities. There will be challenges. But with clear signals and cross-party support, we can do this," he says.

Mr Burrell says he is pleased to see many of SBC and CLC’s recommendations taken up in the Commission’s final advice. "We welcome the increased emphasis on collaboration and partnership with business, and recognition of the need to leverage private sector leadership in the transition."

"We are also pleased to see the Commission respond to our call for greater transparency on the modelling and assumptions that underpin its advice, as well as clarity on the central role of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) and the rationale for policies that sit alongside the ETS."

"The Commission’s final advice makes important recommendations that reflect the key sectoral priorities of our members. We welcome the more nuanced assessment of the transport challenge, including incorporating the SBC Freight Group’s work on a low carbon pathway for the transport sector. We would welcome a similar collaborative approach to decarbonising the light vehicle fleet."

"We also welcome the Commission’s recognition of the need to develop a long-term plan for targeted research and development to reduce biogenic methane emissions from agriculture. SBC and CLC has called for an innovative approach to scaling up efforts in this area through transformational private and public investment and international partnerships."

Mr Bennetts says "This year’s Budget has set high expectations that there will be further commitment to climate action this year through the Between Budget Contingency Fund as decisions are taken on components of the ERP this year, and also through Budget 2022. This has to be a reality if we are to bend the curve toward a zero-carbon economy by 2050."

"The independent Climate Change Commission is a crucial part of the architecture that will enable New Zealand’s transition to a zero carbon future. We thank Dr Rod Carr, the Commissioners, and Jo Hendy and the Climate Change Commission team for their expertise and hard work. We congratulate them on this major achievement," says Mr Burrell.

The Climate Change Commission’s report can be found here.

About SBC

The Sustainable Business Council (SBC) is a CEO-led membership organisation with over 100 businesses from all sectors, ambitious for a sustainable New Zealand. Members represent more than $87 billion of collective turnover, 28% of GDP, and nearly 160,000 full-time jobs. Our network gives members unparalleled influence and the ability to take large-scale collective action. SBC is part of the BusinessNZ network and is the New Zealand Global Network partner to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. www.sbc.org.nz

About CLC

The Climate Leaders Coalition (CLC) was launched in July 2018 with 60 original signatories to promote business leadership and collective action on climate change. With now over 100 signatories, they account for almost 60% of New Zealand’s gross emissions, around $86 billion of collective turnover and employ almost 200,000 people. Signatory commitments include measuring and publicly reporting their greenhouse gas emissions, setting a public emissions reduction target, and working with suppliers to reduce their emissions. www.climateleaderscoalition.org.nz

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