NZ’s first-ever emissions plan released

Friday 20 May 2022

 
New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP) is out – revealing how the Government plans to meet the nation’s first emissions budget of 72.4 million tonnes a year.

That means shaving 11.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide-equivalent off our emissions from 2022-2025. The policies will be backed by NZ$2.9 billion from the proceeds of selling carbon credits to polluters under the Emissions Trading Scheme over the next four years.

So, what’s it mean, and what are some of the policy implications to readers?

Energy

Half of all energy is slated to be from renewable resources by 2035. Crucially, this target is for all energy including that powering super-hot industrial boilers and other fossil-fueled manufacturing processes. Previously, the Government had announced a target for electricity only, which in New Zealand is already mostly renewable.

There will be NZ$650 million in the Budget to subsidise businesses to buy more energy-efficient manufacturing equipment and switch from fossil-fueled to low-emissions technology for their heating, boilers and dryers.

Transport

In a nod to fuel prices and rising cost-of-living pain, NZ$569m has been earmarked to trial a vehicle scrap-and-replace scheme (i.e cash for old dungers) to help low-income households afford cleaner cars that are cheaper to run.

Freight emissions will be cut by 35% by 2035 by deploying biofuels, hydrogen, zero-carbon trucks and zero-emissions shipping. 30% of cars, vans and utes to be fully electric by 2035 (a policy floated in the Government’s discussion document last year).

Forests

The Government has allocated NZ$73 million towards planting 10,000ha of new trees to boost production of wood biomass, to replace coal in boilers. It’s putting money into scaling up production of native seedlings and has set aside NZ$145m for other forest planting and NZ$111m for improving carbon stored in natural ecosystems.

What’s not in there: Concrete measures to reduce new planting of permanent pine trees relative to native forest. (The Government previously said a decision on damping demand for permanent pine plantations will be made by the end of 2022.)

Jobs

Targeted investment into making forestry and wood processing ‘higher value and higher wage’ sector signal a push towards more tree-based income for the country.

More coverage on the announcements and comment can be found on;

What you need to know about the country’s first-ever emissions plan

Partnership To Reduce Agricultural Emissions

Supercharging Decarbonisation

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