15,000 submissions on Zero Carbon Bill consultation publicly released

Date:  04 October 2018

Ministry for the Environment media release
15,000 submissions on Zero Carbon Bill consultation publicly released

More than 15,000 New Zealanders and organisations have had their say on the Government’s proposed Zero Carbon Bill, and today the Ministry for the Environment publicly released the submissions and a summary of the themes.

Vicky Robertson, Secretary for the Environment, says the information the Ministry received is being taken into account as it develops policy advice for Ministers about how New Zealand should respond to climate change.

“A range of views were expressed, from every part of society, and these are all being carefully considered by Ministers as part of putting together the proposed law and the most appropriate target. Ministers are also considering recent reports on the transition to a low emissions economy from the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment and the Productivity Commission, along with economic modelling, the latest science and other relevant reports.

Setting a new target in legislation as part of the Zero Carbon Bill will give us certainty about our long-term goals out to 2050 no matter what government is in power.

From the responses, it’s clear that New Zealanders understand that this proposed Bill is critical to New Zealand’s future,” Ms Robertson says.

Key themes from the submissions included:

  • 91 per cent of respondents said they wanted a target of net zero emissions across all greenhouse gases by 2050 set in legislation now.
  • 96 per cent of respondents supported the establishment of a Climate Change Commission, with an advisory role to Government.
  • 92 per cent of respondents thought the Bill should include provisions to help New Zealand adapt to the effects of climate change.

“Throughout the submissions and public meetings, we also heard that New Zealanders want certainty about how we will respond to climate change as a country. This enables business and government to invest and make effective decisions about how the transition to a low emissions economy will occur.

“Many submitters also supported the concept of a ‘just transition’ that’s fair and inclusive and that governments, current and future, must support those most affected by change.

“We had submissions from business, churches, iwi, other Māori groups and organisations, community organisations and young people.  While the majority of submissions were written, people made videos, created art and even wrote poems to express how they felt about the direction we need to take.

“The consultation campaign that urged New Zealanders to “Have your say” succeeded in attracting many people along to public town-hall style meetings throughout the country. As well as meetings, the Ministry worked with iwi and other Māori groups, held technical workshops with agriculture and industry and events to engage young people.”

“The voices of young New Zealanders were particularly strong – they will be living through the impacts of our decisions by 2050.

“It’s important for people to know that the conversation on the path to a low emissions economy continues. People will have a chance to put forward their views on that as part of the Select Committee process early next year after the Zero Carbon Bill is introduced in Parliament,” Ms Robertson says.