As they said they would, the Government has today released the full advice from the Climate Commission, taking into account all the submissions and all the big fat evidence.
The government very much views this as an achievable blueprint, and have prepared for the release with strong indicators of the policy fields and responsibilities to get the whole plan together.
A few highlights:
The Commission recommends that the Government recycle revenue from the Emissions Trading Scheme back into emissions reductions programmes. Labour’s already committed to this from the 2022 Budget.
They also want much clearer information about financial firms’ exposure to climate risk. Minister Shaw has been on to this for a while. The government recently became the first country in the world to introduce a law requiring this.
Their next message was: don’t delay your start on this because the longer you leave it the tougher it will be on your economy.
From 1990 to 2019 our road transport emissions increased by 96.2%. Minister Wood put out a paper last month with four options to consider, to go into the Emissions Reduction Plan. Also he’s anticipated the Commission by already re-weighting the transport programme in favour of low-carbon transport projects and programmes. Including cycleways.
The Commission underscores the necessity of decreasing biogenic methane. They also want a farm-level emissions, management, and pricing system. There’s supposed to be work on that already underway across universities and Crown Research Agencies. It will be quite a test for Minister O’Connor to actually deliver a credible and widely accepted system to ruminant farmers in their part of the Emissions Reduction Plan. We’re still the only country in the world to legislate for a price on agricultural emissions.
Initiatives like the Government Investment in Decarbonising Industry Fund is a wee start. But also phasing out every single coal boiler in every public building. Somehow, get to Fonterra and NZSteel as well. This will need a much sterner signal from the Emissions Trading Scheme price signals. This is in the bailiwick of Minister Woods. James Shaw wants a sinking lid on total emissions.
Apparently there’s a thing called the Building for Climate Change Programme, which I confess I’ve not heard of. That’s with the Minister of Building and Construction Poto Williams. They could do worse than give ISCA a call – they’ve already accredited their first major infrastructure project here.
Clearly at the moment this is a set of non-binding advice with a whole lot of submissions and research behind it.
But if you want an even more adventurous government, get in there and lobby with your ideas to shape the system to achieve the goals.
We’ll see a bit of coverage on this over the next few days as the main players react.