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Saturday 21 May 2022

Govt sets first three emissions budgets

9th May 2022 By Staff Reporter | | @foodtickernz

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has unveiled New Zealand’s first three emissions budgets, calling them “another milestone on the journey toward a zero-carbon future”.

An emissions budget is the total amount of greenhouse gases that can be put into the atmosphere over a period of time, with those announced today setting out the total amount of emissions New Zealand must cut over the next 14 years.

“The first three emissions budgets that I am announcing today will ensure New Zealand is playing its part fully in the worldwide effort to keep global warming to 1.5 degrees,” Shaw said in a statement.

“Meeting the budgets will help to create new industries and high-value jobs; lower household energy bills; a more climate-friendly agriculture sector; warmer, drier homes; exciting new technologies; the protection of native species and eco-systems; cost savings for businesses; and greater resilience in the face of increasing global uncertainty.” 

The Zero Carbon Act requires that emissions budgets are met through domestic action alone and rather than set a target for emissions to reach a certain level in a single year, the government has chosen a multi-year target for its first three budgets:

  • Emissions Budget 1, 2022-2025: 290 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gasses (72.4 megatonnes per year). That equates to two megatonnes per year less than the five-year average leading up to this point, 2017-2021, and 3.1 megatonnes less than projected emissions for 2022-2025.
  • Emissions Budget 2, 2026-2030: 305 megatones (averages 61 megatonnes per year)
  • Emissions Budget 3, 2031-2035: 240 megatonnes (48 megatonnes per year)

Shaw said the government’s Emissions Reduction Plan on how the first emissions budget will be delivered, will be released on Monday 16 May. The first investments from the Climate Emergency Response Fund will also be announced then.

“The actions taken by our government over the last four-and-a-half years have already reduced the trajectory of our future emissions. But we know there is much more we must do to really bend the curve downwards until we hit net-zero,” Shaw said.

“That is why the Emissions Reduction Plan I will publish next week is so important – because it requires nearly every part of government to act to reduce emissions right across the country and to ensure all New Zealanders benefit from the transition.

“The Emissions Reduction Plan will be a blueprint for a more equitable, more prosperous, and more innovative future – and all within planetary limits.” 



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