Govt moves towards carbon neutral by 2050

The government is setting up an interim climate change committee to help meet its promise to make New Zealand carbon neutral by 2050.

Climate Change Minister James Shaw said a new government bill would put the new climate change target into law and establish an independent Climate Commission.

There was a lot of economic research that had to be done before the bill can be introduced, he said.

“The last set of macro-economic research we did hasn’t been redone since about 2013, 2014,” he said.

“Even then it was a bit of a once-over-ightly approach, it had very narrow parameters and made a number of assumptions that were wildly incorrect.”

Mr Shaw acknowledged that hitting net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 was going to be tough.

“We’ve got a pretty steep curve …but that’s true of the whole planet, right?

“We’ve been talking about this for a number of decades. I think everyone, not just New Zealand but all around the world, is waking up to the reality that it is time for a little less conversation and a little more action.”

The intention is to introduce the legislation by October next year, and pass it by mid-2019.