Climate change consultation now open

Friday 28 Apr 2023

New Zealand's Emission reduction plan consultation has begun.

New Zealand’s Climate Change Commission (CCC) released their draft emissions reduction plan advice for consultation last night. An 8-week consultation now follows until 20 June 2023, feedback from which will shape the final advice - to be submitted by 31 December 2023.

The inaugural piece of advice, "Ināia tonu nei" was delivered in May 2021, and this was followed by the Government setting its first emissions reduction plan for 2022-2025 in May 2022 - the first stage in the journey towards New Zealand's long-term targets for 2050; to reduce long-lived greenhouse gas emissions to net zero and to reduce biogenic methane emissions to 24-47% below 2017 levels.

This time round the draft identifies 19 recommendations as priorities in relation to the direction of the policy required in the emissions reduction plan for the second emissions budget period (2026-2030).

Last May, Cabinet agreed the first three emissions budgets, which included offsets from forestry. This year, for the first time the Commission recommended the Government commit to targets for gross emissions reductions, alongside the current net targets.

The Risks of - and to - the ETS

The CCC are concerned about NZ’s over reliance on forestry crowding out gross ("real") emissions reductions. While drawdown of CO2 from the atmosphere remains critical and indeed the CCC highlight the need to create "provide durable incentives for net carbon dioxide removals by forests through to and beyond 2050", this needs to go hand in hand with gross emission reductions. And climate change is expected to increase the risk of forest fires, strong winds, storms, droughts, pests and pathogens – all of which kill trees.

In addition, the NZ ETS structure risks generating a boom, and then a bust for both the emissions price and forestry. This is partly due to the time lags between planting and tree growth. We have seen how the high prices last year contributed to much higher levels of afforestation and land use change.

Whilst the CCC are not discouraging tree planting, they are warning that it will not encourage the level of emissions reductions required.

More >>

Carbon Forestry 2023. Related to meeting emissions reductions targets, the country's major Carbon Forestry Conference, Carbon Forestry 2023 is planned to run this year in Rotorua, New Zealand on 29-30 August. To find out more about the planned lineup of speaker presentations, check out the event website or to register your team, click here.

Source: Carbon Match

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