Thursday, July 18, 2024

Climate momentum must continue says Minister

New independent draft advice released today by the Climate Change Commission has highlighted the solid foundations laid and the hurdles ahead for the Government’s landmark Emissions Reduction plan, says Climate Change Minister, James Shaw.

The 19 draft recommendations outline the policy direction the Commission recommends the Government should take to stay on track to achieve Aotearoa New Zealand’s 2026-2030 emissions budget.

“We thank the Commission for its latest stock take of the highest priority actions needed to take us to net zero by 2050. The good news is that there is considerable alignment with much of the work we already have underway, and that schemes like the clean car discount are already making a difference,” said Minister Shaw.

“It is encouraging the Emissions Reduction Plan has laid the foundations to bring about transformative change. However, true climate progress can’t be just about setting targets, we have to step up our actions with much greater urgency and scale if we are to achieve a net zero future.

“We also know we need multiple wins to get to net zero, so it is important we don’t rely too heavily on carbon removals from forests to do all the heavy lifting. This is where existing work in decarbonising our state sector and industrial processes can really make a difference. We cannot delay delivering and extending these areas.”

The Minister said the Commission also emphasised that any lag in policy implementation could significantly impact on New Zealand’s ability to meet Emissions Budgets 2 and 3.

“The Commission‘s analysis also shows that delaying key actions, such as transitioning to electric vehicles, could result in GDP falling by 2.3% in 2050. This makes it crystal clear that the cost of inaction is much more than that of action,” he said.

“When the Commission released its first emissions plan advice in 2021 it concluded there were achievable, affordable and acceptable pathways for Aotearoa to reach net zero by 2050. It is encouraging to note that this is still the case,” said Minister Shaw.

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