Greenpeace New Zealand Substantive Submission on Zero Carbon Bill

Key Recommendations

  • New Zealand’s goal must be to limit global warming to no more than 1.5o C by the end of this century. This goal should be stated in the Zero Carbon Bill.
  • New Zealand’s climate law must be fair, ambitious and consistent with the latest climate science and international frameworks, such as the Paris Agreement, by including all greenhouse gases.
  • A target of net-zero by 2040 better reflects the latest science and the need to achieve rapid, substantial reductions in emissions than does a target of net-zero by 2050.
  • Legally-binding climate targets should be legislated now, and a Climate Commission established whose role should be to devise legally-binding budgets.
  • The primary focus of five-year budgets should be gross emissions cuts, while offsets should occur as a secondary or separately reported budget.
  • The ZCA should adopt a ‘firewall’ principle: that New Zealand’s targets must be achieved by actual cuts in our own emissions, and offsets within New Zealand, not through the purchase of international carbon credits.
  • To achieve significant gross cuts in methane and nitrous oxide emissions requires reducing ruminant livestock numbers and cutting synthetic fertiliser use.
  • While cross-party consensus is a desirable long-term goal, any such consensus should not be prioritised over the achievement of strong climate law today.
  • Adaptation should not be the responsibility of the Climate Commission.