Information Sheet 36: Collaboration to achieve the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets

Background  - In December 2015 in Paris the New Zealand Government signed up to a new international agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.  The Government tabled New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The Government has announced that New Zealand will meet these responsibility targets through a mix of domestic emission reductions, the removal of carbon dioxide by forests and participation in international carbon markets.

Industry led response - In May 2016 a collaboration of 22 energy efficiency and renewable energy associations and territorial councils came together at the “Yes we can!” symposium to show how a significant component of the GHG emission reductions, in addition to those arising from the emissions trading scheme (NZ ETS), can be met by domestic emissions reductions and thus avoid the need for purchase of emission reduction units from international carbon markets.  The cost being better spent on sustainable long-term domestic development.

Opportunity - The industry organisations identified that across the sector up to 7Mt CO2-e can be achieved by 2030, and 17Mt CO2-e by 2050, if a number of policies and actions are undertaken.  The sector can therefore contribute around 31% of the target mitigation by 2035, and 36% by 2050, and a reduction of approximately 14Mt CO2-e above the business as usual scenario. In addition, there would be growth in the domestic economy through new employment, business opportunities and achievement of environmental outcomes.