New Zealand Law Society - Third reading for Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) amendment

Third reading for Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) amendment

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The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill had its third reading on 7 November 2019.

The Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw, introduced the bill on 8 May 2019. The bill provides 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.

The bill amends the Climate Change Response Act 2002 and does the following to achieve its purpose:

  • Establishes a new, independent Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitoring to keep successive governments on track (inserting Part 1A – Subpart 1 after section 5).
  • Sets a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to reduce gross emissions of biogenic methane (within the range of 24-47% below 2017 levels by 2050) and to reduce net emissions of all other greenhouse gases to zero by 2050 (Part 1B).
  • Establishes a series of emissions budgets to act as stepping stones towards the 2050 targets (Part 1B – Subpart 2).
  • Establishes a range of climate change adaptation measures to make sure New Zealand understands the risks we face, and has a plan to address them (Part 1B – Subpart 3, clause 5Z).
  • Provides for the interpretation of national climate change risk assessments, national adaptation plans, progress and reports (new part 1C).

Clause9 inserts new Schedule 1AA which contains transitional, savings, and related provisions.

Part 2 contains consequential amendments.

The Act comes into force the day after the date on which it receives the Royal assent.