"It may have been largely overlooked in the election debates, but New Zealand’s
greenhouse gas emissions are finally on the way down.
Annual emissions of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels are the
lowest since 1999 and the 12-month renewable share of electricity is back above
90% for the first time since 1981. The Ministry for the Environment has advised
New Zealand is on track to meet the first (2022-2025) carbon budget.
All this can be attributed to a range of factors, including fossil gas running
low, full hydro lakes, high petrol prices and working from home. But climate
policies such as the Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), the clean car discount
and the Climate Emergency Response Fund (CERF) have made a significant
contribution to the turnaround.
Current decarbonisation policies have and will continue to deliver real
emissions cuts, provided they remain in place.
It is therefore disconcerting that the National Party plans to take $2.3
billion from the CERF (almost two-thirds of the fund’s mid-2022 balance) to pay
for tax cuts. The argument that individual households will use tax cuts to make
their own decarbonisation decisions is unsupported by evidence and lacks
The Labour Party has also dipped into this fund, taking $236 million to pay for
rebates for household installations of solar panels and batteries, and
community energy schemes. These may produce some as yet unquantified emissions
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics