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This proposal is based on the New Zealand´s Climate Change Target and INDC, by the New Zealand Government.



This seed proposal is a summary of the New Zealand´s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution and its consultation document New Zealand´s Climate Change Target, created by a Climate CoLab Fellow. We invite other CoLab members to link to this proposal or to use it as a starting point for creating a new proposal of their own. The New Zealand Government has not endorsed or reviewed this summary.

This plan encompasses the New Zealand Government´s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) submission to the UNFCC in the lead-up to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, to be held in Paris in December 2015.

Although New Zealand is accountable for low levels of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) -0,15% of global emissions in 2012-, New Zealand is determined to contribute in a fair manner to the goal of limiting global average temperature rise to below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, as agreed by the UNFCCC. Hereby, New Zealand pledges a 30% GHG emissions reduction below 2005 levels by 2030. This target is provisional, and its final definition will depend on the accounting method chosen for land sector emissions, and details of the final agreement in Paris.

The document states:

"Each Party must contribute to the extent its circumstances permit"

In this regard, it emphasizes New Zealand´s National circumstances. The most relevant to its emissions reduction target being:

  • New Zealand small population density, depending mainly on road transport.

  • Higher than OECD average population growth.

  • The New Zealand economy relies on trade from its land sector - around 74% of exports-, which is responsible for around 50% of overall GHG emissions. While being a highly efficient agricultural producer, emissions reduction from the agricultural sector will remain limited in the near future.

  • Forest management will reduce emissions offset significantly in the next 15 years.

  • Around 80% of electricity consumed in New Zealand comes already from renewable sources, limiting emissions reduction capacity from the energy sector.

The legal framework used by New Zealand regarding its climate change obligations will beThe Climate Change Response Act 2002. Its key policy tool is the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS), introduced in 2008. The NZ ETS puts a price on each tonne of greenhouse gas emitted.

Other instruments to be put in place address renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean technologies and actions on the land sector.

Which proposals are included in your plan and how do they fit together?

1. New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS).

2. 90% renewable energy share by 2025.

3. Exempt electric vehicles from road tolls until 2020, and include a fuel efficiency labelling for the rest of vehicles. Support research on biofuels.

4. Research on land sector mitigation technologies, through the Pastoral Greenhouse Gas Research Consortium and the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.

5. Support afforestation, including the activities of the Permanent Forest Sink Initiative.

6. Use international carbon markets to fund mitigation projects abroad.

7. International cooperation through various organisations, including the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA), the Friends of Fossil Fuel Subsidy Reform group, and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Explanation of the emissions scenario calculated in the Impact tab

What are the plan’s key benefits?

  • This plan is part of a collective effort to avoid potentially catastrophic effects from an above  2 degrees Celsius global warming.


Side effects of this plan will be:

  • Reduction in costs for businesses and families, from increased energy efficiency.
  • Use of renewable energy sources to supply clean technology.
  • More secure energy system in the face of international energy markets volatility.
  • Improvement of public health and environmental conditions.
  • Enhanced competitiveness by reducing the emission intensity of products and services in an increasingly lower-carbon global economy



What are the plan’s costs?

In the context of its special national circumstances, the projected cost to the New Zealand economy of meeting its 2030 target is higher than other Parties´ efforts. 

The New Zealand Government calculated an economic impact of $6,1 billion (in NZ dollars) in the period 2014-2027, for a 10% target below 1990 levels.

New Zealand has locked $45 million to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases until 2019 and $48.5 million through the New Zealand Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre.




What are the key challenges to enacting this plan?

The provisional target is to a large extent dependent on the ability of New Zealand to access international carbon markets. Uncertainty about the feasibility of the target will subside at the Paris conference.


The plan set target must be met by 2030, starting in 2020. Preparations have already started and will continue after the Paris conference in December 2015.

Related plans


This proposal is a summary of the New Zealand´s Climate Change Target, and INDC: