New Zealand – Climate Change Policy

Posted on December 3, 2010 by

The chief policy tool in New Zealand to reduce GHG emissions is the NZ ETS. Through this, NZ has introduced a price on GHG emissions to incentivise reduction and growth of forests. This NZ ETS has linkages to international markets such as the CDM and the EU ETS by making the reduction units or allowances from those markets available for surrender or offsetting. New Zealand has abundant natural energy resources making it amenable to a high proportion of renewable energy generation. It has set a target for its energy sector of having 90 per cent of its electricity generated from renewable sources by 2025. Around 65% of New Zealand’s energy is currently generated from renewable sources, mainly hydro, geothermal and wind. New investment opportunities are expected in the renewable energy sector from the new wind and geothermal projects. Opportunities also exist in projects designed to increase energy efficiency in industry and buildings. If in the near future, Australia implements a emissions trading scheme, there would also arise opportunities for employment, skills and technology transfer between these two closely linked economies.

New Zealand supports the Copenhagen accord and under it’s recent National Communication to the UNFCCC, it has made non-binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions between 10 and 20 per cent below 1990 levels if there is a comprehensive global agreement which addresses the following issues
– the world is set on a pathway to limiting temperature rise to no more than 2° C
– where developed countries make comparable efforts to those of New Zealand
– where advanced and major emitting developing countries take action fully commensurate with their respective capabilities
– where there is an effective set of rules for land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF)
– where there is full recourse to a broad and efficient international carbon market.

A long-term target of a 50 per cent reduction in net greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050 has also been set in it’s th National Communication to the UNFCCC.