In the months leading up to the publication of this plan, we repeatedly saw the impact that the climate crisis is already having on our communities.
Multiple floods in Tairāwhiti. Severe storm damage in Westport. Droughts in Southland so acute that the Awarua–Waituna wetlands caught fire – in autumn.
At the same time, our best scientists released yet another report that detailed accelerating sea-level rise, threatening local infrastructure, homes and businesses.
Our Government was elected to take action on climate change.
This work began several years ago when we made a commitment to getting to net-zero emissions by 2050.
It continued with ending new offshore oil and gas exploration, upgrading schools and hospitals to run on clean energy and making it easier for families to buy electric cars.
But we have much more to do.
To prevent the climate crisis from getting any worse, we must rapidly cut the pollution we’re putting into the atmosphere.
That challenge presents the single greatest opportunity we’ve had in at least a generation to develop our economy into one that is truly productive, sustainable and inclusive.
This means reducing New Zealand’s exposure to global energy prices and greater energy security.
It means new clean-tech industries and well-paying jobs, especially in our regions.
It means warmer homes and lower household power bills.
It means fast, frequent and convenient buses and trains, and safe walkways and cycle lanes through our cities.
Cars and trucks that are powered by New Zealand’s abundant wind and sun at a fraction of the cost of imported fossil fuels, saving New Zealanders at the pump.
It means an environmentally sustainable and globally competitive primary sector, as other markets start to demand more climate-friendly produce.
New Zealand cannot afford to be left behind, economically or morally. Our future exports, our economy, our environment and the wellbeing of our nation depend on a credible plan to bend our emissions curve down to meet our targets.
That is why the Government is now delivering New Zealand’s very first emissions reduction plan, our roadmap to reduce emissions in Aotearoa for the next 15 years.
And, alongside this plan, the Government is making the most significant investment in tackling climate change in New Zealand’s history.
As we do, we will restore our precious native forests, re-wet former wetlands and protect our endangered birds and other species.
We will work with and alongside tangata whenua to take advantage of the opportunities for Māori and the Māori economy.
We will create, innovate and invest in our collective future.
So let’s get on with it, together.
Rt Hon Jacinda Arden Hon James Shaw
Prime Minister Minister of Climate Change
Message from the Prime Minister and the Minister of Climate Change
© Ministry for the Environment