Emissions Reduction Plan

The Emissions Reduction Plan – what is it and why is it important? 

The Government released its first emissions reduction plan on 16 May 2022.

The Emissions Reduction Plan sets out how New Zealand will meet its first emissions budget (How much greenhouse gas we can emit between 2022-2025) and set the path towards meeting our climate commitments. It is a key step in the country’s transition to a low emissions future.

The plan is designed to provide actions and strategies to reduce Aotearoa New Zealand’s emissions. This will help us meet our long-term emissions targets and contribute to global efforts to limit temperature rise to 1.5˚C above pre-industrial levels. 

The plan is split into chapters focussing on key areas to work on to achieve emissions reduction. Some of the chapters include: working with nature, planning and infrastructure, transport and forestry. 

The transport chapter is of particular interest to POW and provided some good solutions to support us move away from our dependence on volatile fossil fuels. Some of the key actions include: 

  • Improving electric vehicle charging infrastructure across New Zealand to ensure that all New Zealanders can charge when they need to.
  • Making cleaner vehicles and low-emissions alternatives affordable for low-income households through a vehicle scrap-and-replace scheme.
  • Improving travel choices and accessibility by providing people with more convenient, affordable and frequent buses and trains, as well as safer walkways and cycle lanes.

Agriculture makes up 48% of New Zealand’s emissions but unfortunately the emission reduction plan didn’t bring many new solutions to the table. We need to see significant emissions reduction and leadership in the agriculture sector to ensure we meet our targets. Much more than what is provided by the plan. 

If you are interested to read more, the plan is available on the Ministry for the Environment’s website. There is currently a feedback option and if you’d like to let the government know you’d like to see some improvements to the plan you can let them know here. 

For further reading this article has some good, easily digestable summaries of key actions and numbers from the ERP. 

Overall we need to note that this plan is not perfect, but it’a good step in the right direction and it’s important to stay positive about making progress.