The package outlines Aotearoa's first three emissions budgets covering the period until 2035, and advice on how to achieve those budgets, in order to fulfil New Zealand's commitment to the Paris Agreement, and meaningfully tackle climate change.
The consultation document and means for making a submission are on the Commission's website.
While the Commission consulted extensively with the scientific community and other stakeholders to get to their recommendations, the report is underpinned by a people-first vision of New Zealand:
It is an Aotearoa where cities and towns are created around people and supported by low emissions transport that is accessible to everyone equally. Where strong local businesses produce low emissions, high-value products that are in demand locally and globally. Where employers are successful and can support themselves and their employees in the transition to climate-resilience. Where everyone lives in warm, healthy, low emitting homes. Where urban form encourages cycling and walking, alongside efficient, affordable and interconnected public transport networks.
Hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy power our country, and we are highly efficient and productive in resource use. Transport and industry are powered by electricity and other low emissions fuels. Energy is affordable and accessible. Communities can generate their own electricity using low emissions generation.
Elena Trout, EECA Board Chair, said “We expected the Climate Change Commission’s first package would reinforce the enormity of the challenge, and indeed it has. Their proposed pathway to a 36% cut to overall greenhouse gas emissions by 2035 will require significant changes from all of us – government, the private sector, communities and individuals.”
Ms Trout noted that the public is receptive to good climate action. “EECA’s own research shows 83% of New Zealanders would support government action on emissions reduction, while 76% understand that they will need to make changes in their own lives, which they see as positive.
“The New Zealand public now has a unique opportunity to be a part of this, by reviewing the draft budgets and making their own submissions or comments via the Climate Change Commission’s website,” Ms Trout said.
“Time is now of the essence and the sooner we accelerate the change required the less significant the impacts of Climate Change will be.”
Consultation is open until March 28, but action shouldn’t wait. As Dr Rod Carr, Chair of the Commission, wrote in his introduction to the report: “To achieve a cleaner, greener, healthier and more sustainable future, no emission reduction is too small – or too soon. All of us have a part to play and a contribution to make.”