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Draft advice for the second emissions reduction plan

What is it all about?  

The Climate Change Commission has released their draft advice that will inform the Government’s second emissions reduction plan (ERP). Consultation on this advice is open until 20 June 2023.  

The emissions budget sets out the total quantity of emissions that can be released during a budget period, and the ERP guides how the Government will deliver on these targets. The second emissions budget (2026-2030) has been set, and the next ERP will set how we deliver to it and be finalised by the end of 2024.  

Summary of the draft advice  

The Commission’s draft advice covers three main areas:  

  1. Fundamentals for success – the key settings needed to reach our climate objectives  
  2. Creating low emissions options – specific recommendations for different sectors  
  3. Enabling system transformation – system wide change needed for a low emissions future.  

Proposed recommendations  

  • Commit to a specific level of gross emissions.  
  • Communicate indicative levels of gross emissions and CO2 removals from forestry out to 2050 to guide policy development. 
  • Implement a NZ ETS that separates incentives for gross emissions reductions from those applying to forestry, and provide durable incentives for net CO2 removals by forests.  
  • Accelerate Iwi/Māori emissions reductions and support the integration of mātauranga Māori into policy design.  
  • Expand the scope of the Equitable Transitions Strategy to include compounding impacts of climate change adaptation and mitigation. 
  • Make use of existing mechanisms to manage impacts of climate policies in the interim, rather than delaying climate action. 
  • Enhance advisory services to farmers and advance the agricultural emissions pricing system.  
  • Implement an integrated planning system that builds urban areas upward and incentivises comprehensive retrofits to deliver healthy, resilient, low emissions buildings.  
  • Accelerate renewable energy generation and distribution and pursue widespread process heat decarbonisation.  
  • Implement objectives for the role of forests with respect to emissions mitigation and adaptation that give effect to the principles of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 
  • Simplify planning and increase funding of integrated transport networks, resolve the barriers to scaling up vehicle charging infrastructure, and incentivize the uptake of zero emissions vehicles.  
  • Improve the use and efficiency of landfill gas capture systems, and the accuracy of landfill gas capture data.  

What does it mean for local government?  

The draft advice also includes references to local government’s role in the next ERP. We’ll expand on this in our draft submission, but some of the key points are:  

  • That iwi/Māori should be supported to drive the integration of mātauranga Māori into policy design and implementation at both the central and local government levels. The gap in resourcing is recognised, but there’s little detail about how this would work in practice.  
  • That the disconnect between the transport and urban development funding and planning systems is problematic and doesn’t lend itself to whole-of-system outcomes like emissions reduction. The Commission recognise that local government has a major role in both areas and suggests that there should be greater integration across planning, delivery and funding to combine four key types of funding – existing central government funding, existing local government funding, existing private funding mechanisms, and any new Government funding.  
  • That the next ERP should provide much greater clarity about what councils are expected to deliver to support decarbonising transport.  
  • That any transitional measures should provide local government with clear direction on what existing levers and tools it can use to avoid further development in areas at risk from climate change, or development that locks in high emissions. 
  • As New Zealand shifts towards a more circular bioeconomy, the waste hierarchy needs to be included within central and local government decision-making requirements. 

What are the next steps?  

LGNZ and Taituarā will prepare a joint submission on the draft advice and share it with you for your feedback in the next two weeks. We’ll also host a drop-in session to provide feedback – more details to come.  

If you have any questions or would like to provide feedback directly, please contact Jen Coatham (jen.coatham@taituara.org.nz) or Charlotte McKay (charlotte.mckay@lgnz.co.nz).