Cabinet has agreed to begin consulting on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October and require that the final plan be released by the end of May next year in line with the 2022 Budget, the Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw confirmed today.
“Cabinet’s decision allows organisations and communities key to the Emissions Reduction Plan’s success to focus on getting through the worst of the COVID outbreak before engaging with the plan,” James Shaw said.
“The plan will be developed with input from Iwi/Māori, Pacific communities, business, NGOs, local government, and communities all over the country. Notifying them now of our timeline for consultation gives them time to prepare the resources they need to engage fully.
“It is only right to make sure everyone has the chance to contribute without the additional challenge of keeping people safe while the country is at different alert levels, especially those in Auckland who are still at level 4.
“It also allows the Government to align the final plan with Budget 2022, so people can see how its delivery will be supported through Government investment.
“The final Emissions Reduction Plan will set out the policies and strategies Aotearoa New Zealand will take to meet the country’s first ever emissions budget. It will also set the direction for how future emissions budgets will be met,” James Shaw said.
Since the final advice of the independent Climate Change Commission was published in June, conversations have been underway across Government about how Ministers and agencies can support emissions reductions in their portfolios – and what can be included in the final Emissions Reduction Plan.
There is still work to do to make sure New Zealand is able to meet its emissions budgets and the Government wants to hear people’s ideas so they can inform the conversations that continue across Government. The six week consultation will also invite feedback on the role different sectors can play in meeting the emissions budgets – and what they need from the Government to support change in their own area.
While the Government has an important role to play in getting the policy and regulatory settings right, it cannot do so alone. Building a low-emissions economy is a collective effort. It is true to say that some of the necessary changes can only be made if they are supported by policy or regulatory change. But that is not always the case. The final emissions reduction plan will need to reflect this. The end of May deadline for the final Emissions Reduction Plan will require a legislative change.