“The Government's lofty emissions reduction targets will be difficult to meet without ACT's climate change plan,” says ACT’s Climate Change spokesperson Simon Court.
“James Shaw and Jacinda Ardern's have admitted they will need to rely on offshore mitigation to meet their own goals, but the Climate Change Response Act currently makes this too difficult.
“Right now, the Climate Change Response Act requires a preference for domestic reductions in carbon. Reducing one tonne of carbon in New Zealand has the same global effect if New Zealand efforts reduce one tonne anywhere else in the world.
“To make the gains the Government had committed to, it should immediately adopt my Member’s Bill which would allow offshore mitigation to be more easily implemented in New Zealand's climate change plan.
“My Bill would allow New Zealanders to fulfil their emissions reduction obligations at least cost or maximise their emissions reductions for a given cost. It also ensures New Zealanders do not pay more per tonne to fulfil their emissions reduction obligations than overseas competitors.
“ACT first promoted this idea with a proposed amendment to the Zero Carbon Act in November 2019. ACT has always had the most sensible economics and science-based approach to climate change, it has taken two years for Ardern and Shaw to catch up.
“It would also require the Government to require offshore mitigation to be of comparable quality to New Zealand's carbon credit scheme.
“Offshore mitigation allows us to make these trade-offs in a way that makes the most sense for New Zealand while making real and tangible progress in removing carbon.
“It would, for example, be ridiculous to pile on more regulation on the New Zealand dairy sector which is already the most carbon efficient in the world if that just moves production to a less carbon friendly country.
“Offshore mitigation is not only necessary, but also sensible. Climate change is a global issue, and we need to act globally to reduce emissions.”