New Zealand’s 2030 climate change target

This page provides information on New Zealand’s 2030 climate change target.

Our 2030 climate change target

In December 2015, countries met in Paris to establish a new international climate change agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

An important part of this agreement (the Paris Agreement on Climate Change) will be the contributions each country makes to address climate change. Ahead of the negotiations in Paris, all countries were asked to put forward a target to reduce emissions in the period after 2020. These are known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions or INDCs. 

In July 2015, the New Zealand Government announced that our post-2020 climate change target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. 

View details on Hon Tim Groser’s media statement [Beehive website]

The target has been tabled internationally with the United Nations. New Zealand's target will remain provisional until the new international agreement is ratified.

For a copy of New Zealand’s INDC see the UNFCCC website [UNFCCC website]

New Zealand's current target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020. The new post-2020 target is equivalent to 11 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030. New Zealand will meet these responsibility targets through a mix of domestic emission reductions, the removal of carbon dioxide by forests and participation in international carbon markets.

In November 2015, the New Zealand Government submitted an addendum to our INDC. 

View a copy of the addendum to the INDC [PDF, 218 KB] [UNFCCC website]. 

The addendum clarifies New Zealand’s assumptions about accounting for anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions and removals from forestry and other land use underpinning the INDC. These assumptions will inform New Zealand’s participation in the negotiations on a new global climate change agreement.

The approach described in the addendum builds on the forestry accounting rules under the Kyoto Protocol which New Zealand currently uses to account for forestry emissions and removals. Under this approach, New Zealand would continue to earn credits for afforestation, and be liable for deforestation, while accommodating the ongoing cyclical effects of forest harvest and regrowth that occur as part of normal, sustainable forest management.

The Government will confirm New Zealand’s final Nationally Determined Contribution, including the international accounting approach to be applied, when it ratifies the Paris Agreement.  For more information on the Paris Agreement see The Paris Agreement web page.

For further enquiries on forestry and other land use, please contact the Ministry for Primary Industries at climatechange@mpi.govt.nz.

Public consultation

Public consultation on New Zealand’s target occurred during the period 7 May–3 June 2015. During the submission period 15 public meetings and hui were held across New Zealand and 17,023 written submissions were received from 15,639 submitters.

Of these, 1,485 submissions were unique (ie, completed through the Ministry’s online webform or by writing an individual response by email/letter). The remainder of submissions were ‘form’ submissions (ie, drafted by particular organisations/groups and submitted by individuals).

Summary of public submissions

View a summary of public submissions on the target. 

View unique submissions (alphabetical order by surname/organisation name):

Show all Submissions | Hide all Submissions

View a copy of each 'form' submission drafted by a particular organisation/group

Organisation/group Format Number of 'form' submissions received
Green Party of Aotearoa [PDF, 38.3 KB] 7,147 
Greenpeace New Zealand [PDF, 39.7 KB] 4,958 
Generation Zero [PDF, 43.9 KB] 3,342
Deconstructing Paris [PDF, 89.1 KB] 107
350.org Movement [PDF, 38.1 KB] 102 

The number of unique submissions published online and number of ‘form’ submissions received does not add up to the total 17,023 submissions the Ministry received. This is because some submissions included both the standard organisation ‘form’ text as well as substantial additional unique information. These have been published individually and counted in the 'form' submission number.

Material released as part of the consultation process includes:

Additional information

Cabinet paper on New Zealand’s intended contribution to the new global climate change agreement
This is the Cabinet paper which supported Ministers' final decisions on New Zealand’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution. Some information has been withheld in this published version consistent with grounds under the Official Information Act.

New Zealand’s greenhouse gas inventory 1990–2013 snapshot
A summary of New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2013

New Zealand’s Sixth National Communication (2013)
Includes current domestic policies and projected emissions out to 2030.

Other useful links

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website

What is an INDC? [World Resources Institute website]

Countries’ INDCs [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change website]

IPCC fifth assessment report [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change website]

Reviewed:
29/02/16