New Zealand needs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to become more productive, reduce risks from fuel price volatility, and meet our international commitments. The transition has already started – our emissions peaked in 2005 and have remained stable despite significant economic growth, and the emission intensity of our economy has decreased 31 per cent since 1990.
About 80 percent of New Zealand’s electricity generation is derived from renewable sources. We therefore have to look at reducing emissions from sectors beyond electricity generation. We work with businesses and households to assist with the transition to a low-carbon future and promote energy efficiency programmes.
The Natural Resources Sector’s efforts in transitioning to a low emissions economy include growing high value, low emission industries, improving energy efficiency and expanding renewable energy use. These measures will help build resilience in our economy by reducing our dependence on imported fossil fuel and vulnerability to oil prices, supply disruptions, and future carbon prices. It will also support producers’ efforts to meet changing consumer preferences for goods with lower environmental footprints.
New Zealand’s Emissions Trading Scheme, one of the world’s first, is being reviewed to assess how it should evolve to support New Zealand in meeting future emissions reduction targets and its ongoing transition to a lower emissions economy.
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