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 
Policy Target: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)


Under the Paris Agreement New Zealand has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030 (the 2030 target). Transitioning to a low emissions economy aligns with a global shift and growing evidence that pursuing low-carbon, climate resilient growth can not only mean increased productivity, but can be the same objective. We’re working to better understand this potential for New Zealand.

To provide advice on this potential and how we transition to a low emissions and resilient economy, we have set up a Transition Hub. The Hub is made up of people from government agencies in the natural resources area and is responsible for taking a long-term view. The Hub will deliver advice to Cabinet on the range of costed options available to reduce emissions.  This will inform the plan to meet our international targets and transition to a low emissions economy. It will also look at how government works with others to get moving and accelerate reduction in emissions through everyone taking voluntary action. The Productivity Commission is looking at how New Zealand can maximise the opportunities and minimise the costs and risks of transitioning to a lower net emissions economy.  The Hub will provide advice on how we reach our 2030 target as well as taking a longer term view, whereas the Productivity Commission will focus on beyond 2030.

The Productivity Commission inquiry reports back in June 2018. Their findings will inform the Hub’s work on how New Zealand can reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions and move to a lower emissions future, while continuing to grow its economy.


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: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:22:10 CET