Roles and responsibilities for climate change

This page lists government agencies with responsibilities for climate change and outlines their roles.

Ministry for the Environment 

The Ministry is responsible for leading the development, coordination and implementation of ‘whole-of-government’ climate change policy.


  • provide advice to the Minister for Climate Change Issues on New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emission-reduction targets
  • manage policy development for the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme
  • coordinate central government's adaptation work programme
  • report on greenhouse gas emissions under both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol.
  • are designated national authority for the Clean Development Mechanism (a market mechanism designed to help developed countries reduce the costs of meeting their emissions targets).

We report to the Minister for Climate Change Issues: Hon Paula Bennett [Beehive website].

Other government agencies with climate change functions

Functions described below primarily relate to climate change mitigation. Climate change adaptation roles and responsibilities are outlined on the Adaptation and central government web page. 

Environmental Protection Authority

The EPA manages the administration of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) including compliance, reporting and market information. It also operates the New Zealand Emission Unit Register (NZEUR).

Visit the EPA website

Ministry of Transport

The Ministry of Transport leads work on biofuels, electric vehicles, other alternative fuels and technologies, and the energy efficiency of commercial fleets.

Visit the Ministry of Transport website

Ministry for Primary Industries

The Ministry for Primary Industries contributes to government policy on climate change in a number of areas including:

Visit the Ministry for Primary Industries website

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is responsible for energy policy. Other activities include research into carbon capture and storage, energy information and modelling.

The Ministry also has a role in promoting New Zealand’s innovation system by providing science and technology policy advice to the Government, some of which relates to climate change or low emissions technology. It is also responsible for investing money in science and research on behalf of the New Zealand Government, including research on climate change.

Visit the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment website

Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority

The Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority supports and promotes energy efficiency and energy conservation, and the use of renewable sources of energy in New Zealand.

Visit the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority website

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade is responsible for leading New Zealand’s international climate change negotiations. A number of other agencies contribute to and support this work.

Visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website

The New Zealand Treasury

The New Zealand Treasury provides information, research and economic perspectives on climate change policy.

Visit the Treasury website

Department of Conservation

The Department of Conservation is responsible for conserving the natural and historical heritage of New Zealand. It also manages large tracts of native forest and provides policy advice on climate change issues where they relate to conservation issues.

Visit the Department of Conservation website

Local government authorities (regional, district and unitary authorities)

Local government authorities are primary responsibility for regulating resource use in New Zealand and for promoting the environmental, social, cultural and economic well-being of communities. They are required to have regard to the effects of climate change. Many are active in promoting emissions-reductions policies and measures and adaptation actions in their respective regions.

Visit the Local Government in New Zealand website