Submission on Zero Carbon Bill

This submission was written by Catherine Leining and Suzi Kerr in their personal capacity and is posted on the Motu website for ease of access.

The New Zealand government consulted during June and July 2018 on its proposal for a Zero Carbon Bill. This would:

  • set a new and more ambitious 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction target
  • establish interim five-year “emissions budgets” consistent with meeting those targets
  • require the government to issue plans for achieving its emissions budgets
  • require preparation of a national climate change risk assessment and national adaptation plan
  • set up a new independent Climate Change Commission to advise the government and monitor its progress.

The submission highlights five key opportunities to improve the government’s proposal:

  1. Considering a fourth 2050 target option providing for net zero emissions of long-lived gases and significantly reduced emissions of short-lived greenhouse gases
  2. Implementing a dual-target structure encompassing New Zealand’s mitigation effort at home and overseas
  3. Looking beyond 2050 when setting targets and plans through 2050
  4. Requesting advice from the Climate Change Commission on emission price pathways
  5. Enabling the Climate Change Commission to undertake independent work supported by long-term funding