Wellington – Government must encourage the benefits that come from climate change action, including health improvements, quieter streets, cleaner water and increased biodiversity through more native forests, He Pou a Rangi, the NZ Climate Change Commission, says.
There will inevitably be changes to employment as Aotearoa moves to low emissions, the commission says.
The coal mining and oil and gas sectors, and the services that support them, will be impacted by the transition away from fossil fuels.
Commission chair Dr Rod Carr says this will particularly affect regions with lots of workers in these industries.
While these industries are already declining, the commission’s proposed emissions budgets could speed this up and possibly result in 600 to 1100 fewer jobs across both sectors by 2035.
It is worth noting that many of these workers have important skills that will be valuable in other sectors and new industries, Dr Carr says.
“We expect employment will rise in in the circular economy, development of biofuels and hydrogen, and in deploying and supporting new technologies. The transition will allow time to plan and support workers to retrain and redeploy into new areas of work.
“Aotearoa must have an equitable and fair transition to a low emissions economy and society with benefits widely shared.
“Different groups of society, regions and sectors will be affected in different ways, and impacts won’t always be evenly distributed.
“Our analysis suggests that our emissions budgets could result in job losses in the coal mining and oil and gas sectors.
“At the same time, taking action to meet the budgets is also likely to result in new jobs in other sectors and new industries, such as supporting and deploying new technologies.
The make-up of the economy will change, and some workers will need to be supported to retrained or move to similar jobs in new industries.