18 February 2016

Keep eyes on our climate goal, says Environment Commissioner

The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment has today supported moves to strengthen New Zealand’s climate rules, but has highlighted the need to focus on the end goal. 

“In November in Paris, global leaders agreed that the world must essentially stop emitting greenhouse gases this century,” said Dr Wright. “Here in New Zealand we need to work out how we are going to make a smooth transition to a low-carbon economy.” 

The Commissioner has today provided advice to Parliament in a submission on the Government’s review of the Emissions Trading Scheme. 

“I am pleased that the Government is currently reviewing our climate policy, especially in the wake of the successful international agreement in Paris a few months ago.” 

The review is focused on a number of technical matters, but the Commissioner has called for more work to address key questions that need to be answered if our climate policies are to be effective. 

“We need to know what the opportunities and risks are for our different industries in a carbon-constrained world. This includes the agriculture sector.” 

Dr Wright restated her view that the Emissions Trading Scheme as the right framework for New Zealand, but thus far has been little more than a framework. 

“I welcome these moves to strengthen it. The removal of the two-for-one subsidy is critical for the effectiveness of the ETS,” she said. 

The Commissioner plans to provide further advice on the ETS review in April and is currently investigating the complex topic of the agricultural greenhouse gases. 

ENDS 

For more information contact Tom Crick on 0220323480