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Aotearoa’s Emissions Reduction Plan Is A Plan Without A Plan To Meaningfully Reduce Emissions.

Today the Government launched a consultation document on their Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). In it, the Government paints a picture of some utopian future with clear air, renewable and cheaper energy for all, and billions to be spent on rail, trams, and walking and cycling infrastructure.

They hope this document will stimulate discussion and a plan to deliver their utopian dream. However, very little in this document will deliver this utopian dream. That's because it’s not a plan at all. It is a framework document with inadequate or no actions to reduce emissions to keep global temperatures to within 1.5 degrees of warming.

“The Emperor has no clothes. There’s not enough here to constitute a plan. The Ministers and their departments responsible for reducing our emissions have failed to engage in the process, leaving behind a consultation document with more holes than a Swiss cheese,” says Saul Chambers, WWF-New Zealand Climate Change Programme Manager.

“Considering that nearly 50 percent of our emissions come from agriculture, this draft consultation document barely scratches the surface of how the Government intends to reduce farm emissions. Deferring the problem by not coming up with tangible actions in this first ERP is not acceptable.”

The Government's reasoning is that they can only reduce a proportion of emissions through policy, it’s down to us individually and through business, communities and landowners to build a low-carbon economy. And that they are focusing on what canmake the biggest impact first. WWF-New Zealand is disappointed by the Government, its Ministers and their departments for failing to put forth a real emission reduction plan for all sectors. The ERP consultation document will require us, the people, to fill in the gaps - the goals, the vision, and the meaningful emission targets and key performance indicators (KPIs). Where is the deep thinking from the Ministers and their departments?

There are some areas where they give the right signals. Building upon a Māori worldview and nature-based solutions are welcomed by WWF. However, there’s no mention the role wetlands, the ocean, or our Blue Economy plays in reducing our emissions.

Our contribution to this document is vital. This is what WWF-New Zealand is calling for:

Less debates, investigations, consultants reports, and R&D in niche markets like hydrogen.This isn’t going to cool the planet. We have the solutions already.

We want a plan that is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timebound). We want quantifiable emission targets, milestones, and KPIs to show, year-on-year, we are achieving the carbon budgets for each sector.

We want regenerative agriculture to be an investment priority now, as farming is nearly 50% of the country's emissions. We cannot exclude agriculture from this first ERP.

While many other countries are offering their people a New Green Deal, we are not seeing the level of ambition or financial investment other countries are planning. We want a significant budget allocated to reducing emissions in 2022 and in subsequent budgets.

“This ‘discussion document’ lacks deep thought and meaningful emission reduction plans. Meanwhile, we are continuing to be one of the globe’s largest emitters per capita, while our very survival depends on cooling the planet,” says Chambers.

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