Country:New Zealand
Policy status:In Force
Date Effective:2002
Date Amended:

2005, 2009, 2012

Policy Type:Economic Instruments>Market-based instruments>GHG emissions trading, Policy Support>Strategic planning, Regulatory Instruments>Obligation schemes 
Climate Change Policy Targets:Framework/ Multi-sectoral Policy
Agency:Ministry for the Environment
Legal References:Climate Change Response Amendment Bill (2005); Climate Change Response (Moderated Emissions Trading) Amendment Act(2009); Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and other matters) Bill (2012)
Climate Change Description:

Greenhouse gas emissions targets are one way New Zealand is doing its ‘fair share’ to address global climate change. New Zealand has pledged unilateral action in line with other countries, and has committed to increase its ambition in the future as part of a comprehensive global agreement.

In July 2015, the New Zealand Government announced that our post-2020 climate change target is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 (until then New Zealand’s target had been to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 5 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

The new post-2020 target is equivalent to 11 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.  New Zealand will meet these responsibility targets through a mix of domestic emission reductions, the removal of carbon dioxide by forests and participation in international carbon markets. 


The Emissions trading system was launched in 2009 (see separate entry on Emissions Trading Scheme) and in 2012 the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading and other matters) Bill modified the emissions trading scheme (ETS), provides further powers to make regulations, and makes technical and operational changes (see separate entry on Emissions Trading Scheme).


In late 2015 the Government announced it would review the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) to assess how it should evolve to support New Zealand in meeting future emissions reduction targets and its ongoing transition to a low emissions economy (see separate entry).

Related policies:Emissions Trading Scheme , Climate Change Response Legislation , Ratification of Kyoto Protocol , US - NZ Partnership on Climate Change
This record supersedes:National Emission Reduction Strategy

Last modified: Mon, 18 Jan 2016 16:45:51 CET