NZ sets path towards first climate budget
New Zealand is moving a step closer to its first emissions budget, presenting a suite of carbon-crunching measures for feedback from the public.
Jacinda Ardern's government is looking to the transport sector to curb much of its greenhouse gas output, suggesting incentives for New Zealanders to get rid of gas guzzlers and use public transport.
A consultation document released on Wednesday also proposes vast tree-planting measures and banning new gas connections to homes.
"We are putting forward for discussion a range of ideas that would reduce our emissions and can also create jobs and new opportunities for Kiwi businesses and our economy," Ms Ardern said.
New Zealand is one of a handful of countries to enshrine its mid-century carbon neutral pledge into law, which it did in 2019 through the Zero Carbon Act.
That legislation also created the independent Climate Change Commission which was due to hand down its first 'carbon budget' - covering 2022 to 2025 - this year.
However, the government cited COVID-19 as it pushed back that requirement to May next year, bringing it into line with the budget.
Kiwis have until November 24 to give their feedback on the consultation.
In the meantime, Climate Change Minister James Shaw will attend next month's major climate change gathering in Glasgow, rather than Ms Ardern.
The prime minister has opted to remain in New Zealand, which is the chair of APEC this year and has hosting duties for a virtual summit later in November.
Kiwi ministers have been loath to travel during the pandemic and have not exempted themselves from mandatory quarantine.
In the past 18 months, just one minister has left New Zealand on official business - Trade Minister Damien O'Connor.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson utilised the trans-Tasman bubble in July to take a private trip to Tasmania.
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