Climate Change Commission delivers NZ roadmap

Nearly all cars imported by 2035 must be electric vehicles is one of the policies recommended by the commission.File Image. SunLive.

The Climate Change Commission has released its final report laying out the roadmap for the country to slash emissions and become carbon neutral by 2050.

The commission received more than 15,000 submissions in response to its draft advice released in late January.

The plan outlines sweeping changes to society, laying out proposals for the first of three emissions budgets for Aotearoa.

These set the maximum amount of greenhouse gas emissions over five-year blocks: 2025, 2026-2030 and 2031-35.

It calls for progressively deeper emissions reductions. From 15 per cent by 2025 for long-lived greenhouse gases - up to 63 per cent by 2035.

And for biogenic methane – an 8 per cent cut by 2025, 12 percent by 2030 and 17 percent by 2035.

By 2050 the target range for biogenic methane is set between 24 and 47 per cent.

New Zealand made international commitments in 2006 to cut total emissions to 30 per cent of 2005 levels by 2030.

However, the report saiys if New Zealand was to play its part as a developed nation its Nationally Determined Contribution needed to be much more than 36 per cent - but that was a decision for politicians.

The government has until the end of the year to respond with its own plans.

Some Climate Change Commission final report recommendations


  •   •  Nearly all cars imported by 2035 must be electric vehicles

  •   •  Road transport can be almost completely decarbonised by 2050

  •   •  By end of 2022 set targets to get more people walking, cycling and using public transport


  •   •  To get to the higher 47 per cent reduction range for agriculture would require cutting agricultural production from livestock unless new technology came online.

  •   •  Set a farm emission carbon pricing scheme, or look to bring agriculture into the emission trading scheme (something the government must make a decision on by next year)


  •   •  Phasing out coal as soon as possible

  •   •  Phase out the use of boilers that burn fossil fuels

  •   •  A major expansion in the electricity system needed to start immediately


  •   •  Establishing a comprehensive plan for new native forests.

  •   •  These can be on steeper, less productive land. Its plan assumes assumes 300,000 hectares of new native forests and 380,000 hectares of new exotic forests are to be established between 2021 and 2035.

Just transition

  •   •  Supporting workers to transition from high-emissions sectors to low-emissions sectors

Key changes in the final report compared to the draft

  •   •  Deeper cuts needed in the first two budget periods - about three times the draft's target in 2025, but the curve smooths out after that. This will make meeting the 2050 targets harder.

  •   •  Fewer EVs to be in the fleet in early budget periods than first projected

  •   •  Herd numbers may need to drop as assumptions about potential farming efficiency improvements were too optimistic

  •   •  It had under estimated how much land would be converted to horticulture, it has now revised this up from 2000 hectares a year to 3500 hectares a year

  •   •  Native reforestation will take some grazing land

  •   •  Increase in the ambition around cutting waste

  •   •  Revised upwards the amount of methane emitted from landfills that will be captured

  •   •  More paths laid out to get to emissions targets

  •   •  Deeper integration of Treaty of Waitangi principles

It says the government needed to change the emissions trading scheme to make it fit for purpose.

Government responds

The government says the report showed meeting the climate targets were achievable and affordable with existing technology, and delaying action will end up costing more.

It says the commission has revised up the cost of inaction to about 2.3 per cent of GDP by 2050 - almost double the cost to the economy compared to acting now.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw says this government has done more to fight the climate crisis in the last three-and-a-half years than the combined efforts of governments over the last three-and-a-half decades.

"However, we are yet to see a sustained decline in the pollution we put into the atmosphere," Shaw says.

"And even when we do, we need to ensure that decline continues and, in fact, picks up pace, every year until we hit net-zero. The commission's advice makes clear that this is possible, but only if we act now."

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reiterates her statement that climate change was this and the next generation's nuclear-free moment.

"I view the commission's report as one of the most significant documents I'll receive in my time as prime minster."

The government has until the end of the year to respond to the commission's climate roadmap with its own Emissions Reduction Plan.

- RNZ/Hamish Cardwell

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Power supply

Posted on 11-06-2021 09:52 | By Kancho

Interesting . We are currently importing coal to burn to generate power. So more electric vehicles plugged into the power systems will create more load. If our small subdivision went EV the cables and transformer supply our street would be to small probably the cabling too. Then of course the cost of vehicles and the queues for public charging . Then the life of the batteries and the disposal/ recycling that needs infrastructure. Then what to do with all the petrol deisel vehicles? We can’t even deal with tyres currently never mind whole vehicles . Green thinking creates huge problems. Still population growth with overtake everything and resources will not cope

@ Beefhooked

Posted on 10-06-2021 13:23 | By The Professor

I think you have hit the nail on the head - the idea hasn’t been thought through. I also suspect those replacement batteries are going to cost a fortune. And how long will the lines be at the "fueling stations"......can you imagine having to wait half a day to plug your EV in and then another half a day for it to charge. I say go nuclear powered - then cars will never need charging again. Another question, where will the Government get all their money from when we all go to EVs and there is no more petrol to tax? We’ll be paying a lot lot more for our electricity in future years.......that’s where the Government will get their money from I suspect.

Nuclear energy

Posted on 10-06-2021 12:27 | By Johnney

If the world embraced nuclear energy then there would be a lot less fossil fuel mined and burned.

Roadmap really?

Posted on 10-06-2021 08:37 | By beefhooked

I don’t think "Roadmap" is a ideal term to use when cars are being banned lol - more like "lets walk everywhere map". I understand that these electric cars are VERY expensive so how do families get from A to B because they can’t afford one of these cars? and the batteries don’t last for ever either so whats the cost of a replacement battery going to cost? Got to wonder if this has been thoroughly thought through.........

A load of crap anyway!!

Posted on 10-06-2021 08:02 | By The Professor

The earth is naturally tilting on its axis - that’s why we are warming up - that is a scientific fact!! Eventually, in millions of years, the earth will begin tilting back and it will become much colder and dryer again - we may end up back in an ice age. Ask yourselves - why did the last ice age end? There was no industry, cars, planes or Greta around then!!! Pure nature - simple!!


Posted on 09-06-2021 22:06 | By dumbkof2

this climate thing is a load of codswallop. its been changing for millions of years and will continue to change for millions of years. where are all these carbon footprints havnt seen any yet. somebody is making a lot of money out of this

The Climate Change Commission.

Posted on 09-06-2021 20:54 | By groutby

...and the stupidity that comes from them is outstanding!....every time these people realise there is any form of ’pushback’ on the garbage they expel, the dialogue becomes even more intense, unrealistic and totally irrational!...sad thing is, many listen and believe this nonsense, we are indeed doomed, but not from climate change but from dickheads like this!


Posted on 09-06-2021 20:47 | By PC Not

So you think you understand the role of carbon in the atmosphere, yet you don’t allow particle forcing from a solar flare into the equation…Gretta says…. How dare you, You have stolen our future because you’re such Dumb Asses, wanting to pollute our atmosphere with the life giving CO2….. How dare you let our Earth Thrive….. GenZ people… there you have it.

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