How should New Zealand transition to a low-emissions economy?

Date: 
13/04/2018

What does an effective climate change policy package look like for New Zealand? 

RoundtableThe Commission collaborated with Motu Economic and Public Policy Research to convene four half-day roundtables to bring together diverse experts from New Zealand and overseas to shed new light on particularly thorny questions for New Zealand’s low-emission transition.

The final roundtable today was open to the public and attracted over 200 people to discuss an integrated climate change policy for New Zealand. The full presentation of all slides shown in the roundtable is available here.

(Image right: Suzi Kerr (Senior Fellow, Motu), Catherine Leining (Policy Fellow, Motu), Jo Hendy (Environment Team Director, Motu), Geoff Lewis (Principal Advisor, Productivity Commission) and Sally Davenport (Commissioner, Productivity Commission)

Productivity Commission's Principal Advisor, Geoff Lewis, presented on the Commission's progress with our inquiry into how New Zealand should transition to a low-emissions economy - see slides below. Two broad questions have guided the Commission's inquiry:

  1. What opportunities exist for the New Zealand economy to maximise the benefits and minimise the cost of transitioning to a lower net-emissions economy, while continuing to grow incomes and wellbeing?
  2. How can New Zealand’s regulatory, technological, financial and institutional systems, processes and practices help realise the benefits and minimise the costs and risks of a transition to a lower net-emissions economy?

The Commission has engaged with a particularly large and diverse group interested in climate change and mitigation policy, with over 120 engagement meetings, 15 conferences/seminars and 133 submissions received. Two substantial consultancy projects were also commissioned: 

  1. Towards a very low emissions electricity market (Sapere, Wellington)
  2. Modelling the transition pathways to a low emissions economy (Vivid Economics, Concept Consulting, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research)

Vivid Economics is based in London and are working with Concept Consulting and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research who are based in Wellington. These organisations have extensive experience in scenario analysis, and in the modelling and analysis of climate policy which are vital to delivering on our terms of reference.

The Low-emissions economy draft report is now in its final stages and we're excited to announce it will be released on Friday 27 April. The report will provide policy decision-makers insights into how and where emission reductions can be achieved, the emissions-pricing and other regulatory policies that will be required to bring about the transition, and the challenges, opportunities, benefits and costs of alternative transition pathways.