Climate Change :: Doing our fair share
Our approach is about New Zealand doing its fair share and protecting our clean green reputation. But we’re also realistic about the costs, the impacts on jobs and what a small country like New Zealand can do.
We’ve set an ambitious target to cut emissions by 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
We’ve amended the Emissions Trading Scheme to make it workable and affordable. Our changes to the ETS encourage businesses and families to be more energy efficient and to use less carbon over time.
National has also invested in other complementary measures. The most significant is the $372 million we've invested into the ‘Heat Smart: Warm Up New Zealand’ home insulation fund. The scheme has made nearly 100,000 houses warmer, drier and healthier since it began.
It’s improving energy efficiency, benefiting people’s health and helping keep New Zealand clean and green.
We’ve also passed legislation that exempts electric vehicles from road user charges to encourage their uptake. Electric cars have huge environmental benefits in that they are far more energy efficient and quieter than conventional vehicles, and can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
With agriculture being almost half of our emissions, tackling the issue of agriculture emissions is important. That’s why we’ve announced a Centre for Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research and launched the Global Alliance to research how to cut world-wide emissions from agriculture. The Global Alliance has the potential to make significant contributions to New Zealand and the world.
Climate change is our biggest environmental challenge and National is committed to doing our part.
The Emissions Trading Scheme
National moderated the ETS in our first year in office. It strikes a balance between our economic opportunities and our environmental responsibilities.
Our ETS is workable and affordable.
Its working as we intended. Our moderated Emissions Trading Scheme gives incentives to plant trees, replace thermal with renewable energy and invest in energy efficiency so we can do our share to cut emissions. This scheme encourages businesses and families to be more energy efficient and to use less carbon over time.
New Zealand's 2009 emissions report showed emissions were 3% down from
the previous year and the net position report indicating we will
comfortably meet our Kyoto commitment.
The report shows that the major gains were from a reversal from deforestation pre-ETS to afforestation, and a switch from thermal to renewable generation.
Climate Change Minister Nick Smith has been talking to New Zealanders about the emissions trading scheme. You can find his speech "Our National Interests and the ETS" given during the ETS road show.