The purpose of the amendment bill is to provide a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies that contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.


The original proposal was for a separate piece of legislation called the Zero Carbon Bill. The Government has now decided to introduce it as an amendment to the current Climate Change Response Act 2002. This will ensure that all key climate legislation is within one Act.


The amendment bill will do four key things.


Set a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to:

  • Reduce all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane) to net zero by 2050
  • Reduce emissions of biogenic methane within the range of 24–47 per cent below 2017 levels by 2050 including to 10 per cent below 2017 levels by 2030.


Set a series of emissions budgets to act as stepping stones towards the long-term target.

Require the Government to develop and implement policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.

Establish a new, independent Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitoring to help keep successive governments on track to meeting long-term goals.


What happens next

The next step is the first reading of the amendment bill which is scheduled for May 2019. Then the Select Committee will start and there will be a call for public submissions on the amendment bill.

Posted on Thursday 9th May 2019

New emissions target in Proposed Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment



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