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Course set for net-zero with first three emissions budgets


Tāmaki Makaurau – New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets have been released which is another key milestone on of the journey toward a zero-carbon future.

Today’s announcement means Aotearoa’s net-zero future is closer than ever before. Having the budgets in place is a critical part the move to rapidly cut out the pollution that causes climate change.

Meeting the budgets will help to create new industries and high-value jobs; lower household energy bills; a more climate-friendly agriculture sector; warmer, drier homes; exciting new technologies; the protection of native species and eco-systems; cost savings for businesses; and greater resilience in the face of increasing global uncertainty.

An emissions budget is the amount of greenhouse gases that can be put into the atmosphere over a period of time. The three emissions budgets set out the amount of emissions New Zealand must cut over the next 14 years. The Zero Carbon Act requires that emissions budgets are met through domestic action alone.

The first three emissions budgets will ensure New Zealand is playing its part in the worldwide effort to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees, Climate Change Minister  James Shaw says. The emissions reduction plan will be released on May 16.

In its advice to government, the Dr Rod Carr-led He Pou a Rangi Climate Change Commission recommended a special parliamentary debate this Thursday on the first three emissions budgets, before the release of the emissions reduction.

In the last four and a half years, New Zealand has passed the Zero Carbon Act and established the Climate Change Commission.

It has a climate emergency response fund, paid for by the polluters themselves and required default Kiwisaver funds to be fossil-fuel free.

Aotearoa has become the first country in the world to require mandatory climate related risk reporting for listed companies and financial institutions.

It has banned new offshore fossil fuel exploration, started the New Energy Research Centre in Taranaki and kick-started the hydrogen economy in New Zealand.

It has banned new industrial coal boilers and put climate change back in the Resource Management Act.

It has brought in the clean vehicle discount and vehicle emission standards, which have led to a 300 percent increase in the import of electric vehicles.