Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

This page provides information on the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill. It passed its third reading on 7 November 2019.

What the amendment bill will do

The purpose of the amendment bill is to provide a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies that contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The original proposal was for a separate piece of legislation called the Zero Carbon Bill. The Government decided to introduce it as an amendment to the current Climate Change Response Act 2002. This will ensure all key climate legislation is within one Act. 

The amendment bill aims to do four key things.

  • Set a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to: 
    • reduce all greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane) to net zero by 2050
    • reduce emissions of biogenic methane within the range of 24–47 per cent below 2017 levels by 2050 including to 10 per cent below 2017 levels by 2030.
  • Establish a system of a series of emissions budgets to act as stepping stones towards the long-term target.
  • Require the Government to develop and implement policies for climate change adaptation and mitigation.
  • Establish a new, independent Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitoring to help keep successive governments on track to meeting long-term goals.

Progress of the bill

The amendment bill passed its third reading on 7 November 2019. Follow the bill's progress on this web page [New Zealand Parliament Pāramata Aotearoa website].

Select Committee process

The Environment Select Committee considered approximately 10,000 submissions and heard 800 submitters in person. The Committee reported back to the House of Representatives on 21 October 2019 with a set of recommendations for improvements to the bill.

You can access the Select Committee's report on the bill on the Parliament's website [New Zealand Parliament Pāramata Aotearoa website]. ​​

If you are looking for the submission you made to the Environment Select Committee you will find it under the Submissions and advice tab on the Environment web page [New Zealand Parliament Pāramata Aotearoa website].

Find out more

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill: Summary

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill [New Zealand Legislation website]

Regulatory impact statement: Zero Carbon Bill

Economic analysis for the proposed Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Prime Minister's media release: Landmark climate change bill goes to Parliament [Beehive website]

Cabinet papers and associated appendices, minutes and briefing

Climate Change Chief Executives Board – Advice on a new 2050 emissions reduction target 

Proposed climate change bill 

Proposed climate change bill – Minute of decision

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill: Approval for Introduction

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill: Approval for Introduction - Minute of decision

Biogenic methane reductions required under the climate change bill

Biogenic methane reductions required under the climate change bill - Minute of decision

Cabinet paper: policy decisions for Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill departmental report

Minute of decision Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill: policy proposals for departmental report

    Reviewed:
    08/11/19