Voluntary climate mitigation in Aotearoa New Zealand


Published: 2021

‘Voluntary mitigation’ means reducing emissions and increasing removals of greenhouse gases beyond government requirements (including requirements in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme). Past approaches to voluntary mitigation will not work in the context of the Paris Agreement and domestic climate change policies. A new framework is needed to incentivise voluntary climate action and better help organisations to make credible, transparent and marketable claims.


Many organisations in Aotearoa want to go beyond government requirements to help tackle climate change. However, past approaches to voluntary offsetting and carbon-neutral claims are not compatible with the Paris Agreement.


This paper proposes an innovative two-track system aimed at scaling up voluntary climate action to help Aotearoa New Zealand meet its Paris Agreement targets – or mitigate beyond the targets. As a next step, Aotearoa needs to test this proposed system in key markets and ensure its compatibility with evolving international standards. 


Motu Research’s work was funded by the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) and informed by a dialogue process involving cross-sector stakeholders. The work only represents the views of the authors (not EECA or other government departments, dialogue participants or He Pou a Rangi, the New Zealand Climate Change Commission). No endorsement is implied.


Boosting Voluntary Climate Action paper: full version


Boosting Voluntary Climate Action paper: overview


Media release


Questions and answers


Public webinars

Part 1: Introducing a new policy proposal.  
Thursday 1 April 2021, 12:30 PM – 2 PM

PowerPoint slides used in briefing

Recording of the briefing

In this webinar, Motu Policy Fellow Catherine Leining will introduce an innovative policy proposal for boosting voluntary carbon action and enabling organisations to make credible, transparent and marketable claims. The initial presentation will be followed by audience Q&A.   


Part 2: Expert panel discussion on challenges and solutions.
Friday 16 April 16 2021, 12:30 PM – 2PM

Join by Zoom

Register with Eventbrite

In this webinar, Motu Policy Fellow Catherine Leining will join a panel of experts to explore the challenges ahead for businesses and local governments with voluntary climate commitments and potential solutions that could unlock voluntary climate investment and action.