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Source: Climate Change Commission

The independent Climate Change Commission has released its draft package of advice to Government on the steps Aotearoa must take to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions and address climate change. 
Public consultation on the draft advice begins tomorrow (Monday February 1) and runs until Sunday March 14.
Commission Chair Dr Rod Carr says the advice is ambitious but realistic and makes a clear case to Government for taking immediate and decisive action on climate change. 
“As a country we need transformational and lasting change to meet our targets and ensure a thriving Aotearoa for future generations. 
“The good news is that our analysis shows there are technically achievable, economically affordable and socially acceptable paths for Aotearoa to take,” he says. 
“But the Government must move faster – and support business, agriculture and community to do the same. 
“The Commission has spent the last year working on what is now the most comprehensive strategy Aotearoa has for reducing its emissions and impact on the climate. 
“There are a few actions that are critical to meeting our targets: electric vehicles, accelerated renewable energy generation, climate friendly farming practices and more permanent forests, predominantly natives,” Dr Carr says.
“Our engagements to date have helped us understand the size of our task. We have been incredibly impressed at the level of expertise, the passion and the ambition that exists in Aotearoa. 
“The Commission is clear that this is draft advice and is committed to true consultation. Through consultation we are sure we will receive more valuable feedback and are prepared to make changes in light of what we hear”. 
The Commission’s advice includes: 
– The proposed first three emissions budgets for Aotearoa. 
– Recommendations on the direction of the country’s first emissions reduction plan, which provides policy guidance to Government on how the emissions budgets could be met. 
– A review that finds the first Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for Aotearoa is not compatible with the country’s responsibilities under the Paris Agreement to contribute to global efforts to limit warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. 
– A consideration of what potential reductions in biogenic methane might be needed by 2100. The result is biogenic methane will need to continue to fall in the second half of this century. This work does not review current targets. 
– This draft advice explains how Aotearoa can reach net zero emissions for long-lived gases by 2050, as outlined in the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act. 
– Following consultation, the Commission will incorporate feedback before finalising the advice and presenting it to the Government by May 31 2021. 
– The Government then has until December 31 to decide whether to accept recommendations in the advice. If the Government chooses not to take on the Commission’s advice, it must publish an alternative plan for reaching net zero. 
– The Climate Change Commission is an independent crown entity. Its independence means it can provide impartial advice, challenge and hold the government of the day to account for action on climate change.