New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution

The key part of the Paris Agreement is the contribution each country will make to address climate change. Ahead of the negotiations in Paris in December 2015, all countries were asked to put forward an intended contribution to address climate change in the period after 2020.  A country’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) became its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) when it ratified the Paris Agreement.

In addition to containing detail on the scope and coverage of New Zealand’s 2030 target, the NDC contains information on New Zealand's:

  • intended use of international market mechanisms
  • approach to accounting for forestry and other land use.

New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement on 4 October 2016 and submitted our NDC to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

See New Zealand’s first NDC (PDF, 221 KB) [UNFCCC website].

Our NDC target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. The NDC target is economy-wide, covering all sectors and all greenhouse gases. The NDC target will be managed using an emissions budget, meaning New Zealand is responsible for the total emissions across the period 2021-2030. 

New Zealand’s NDC submission discusses the use of market mechanisms and cooperative approaches to meet the target, as well as the approach to accounting for forestry and other land use.  

In light of the international effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5˚C above pre industrial levels, the Minister for Climate Change requested the independent Climate Change Commission to review the NDC. If it finds that the NDC is not compatible with contributing to the global temperature goal of 1.5˚C, it will make recommendations on any changes to the NDC required to ensure it is compatible with these global efforts. The Ministry for the Environment expects to receive this advice alongside other advice that the Climate Change Commission will be providing in 2021 on the domestic emission budgets and the emission reduction plan as required under the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act.

This process for review was communicated to the UNFCCC through New Zealand’s submission on 22 March 2020 (PDF, 577 KB) [UNFCCC website].

New Zealand’s second NDC is due in 2025 to cover the period starting from 2031. No decision has been taken yet with regard to New Zealand’s second NDC (post-2030).

Public consultation on the target

The New Zealand public was consulted in 2015 before the 2030 target was set.

Find out more

Briefing to the Minister

Scientific analysis of compatibility of the NDC with 1.5 degrees

Related Cabinet paper

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.

Related publications

New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990–2018 snapshot
A summary of New Zealand's Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2017

New Zealand's Seventh National Communication under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol
Includes current domestic policies and projected emissions out to 2030.

A general equilibrium analysis of options for New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change contribution

Modelling the economic impact of New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change contribution

Research paper on comparability of New Zealand’s 2030 climate change target 

Reviewed:
16/07/20