Low-emissions economy final report - online

28 Sep 2018

Water New Zealand made a submission to the Productivity Commission on how New Zealand can transition to a low-emissions economy. This was appeared before the Commission and their official response is recorded on pages 497-501 of the report. View the updated from the Productivity Commission below. 

The Government asked the Productivity Commission to identify options for how New Zealand can reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions through a transition to a low-emissions economy, while at the same time continuing to grow incomes and wellbeing. Our final report to the Government makes 173 findings and 78 recommendations.

What did the inquiry find?

Numerous changes will be required across the economy – some disruptive, some less obvious. Three particular shifts must happen for New Zealand to achieve its low-emissions goals:

  1. We stop burning fossil fuels and switch to using electricity and other low-emission energy sources.
  2. We undertake substantial levels of afforestation to offset New Zealand’s remaining emissions.
  3. We make changes to the structure and methods of agricultural production.

What needs to be done now?

The Government needs to prioritise the following actions to achieve the above shifts:

  • Establish a comprehensive and durable climate change policy framework, including separate legislated long-term targets for short- and long-lived gases; a series of successive emissions budgets; and an independent Climate Change Commission;
  • Reform the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and apply some form of emissions pricing to methane from agriculture and waste;
  • Ensure supportive regulations and policies are in place, to address non-price barriers, and accelerate the transition; and
  • Devote significantly more resources to low-emissions innovation and technology.

If we act now we can set New Zealand on the path to achieve a low-emissions future.