Report on Low Emissions Economy
The Productivity Commission has completed its inquiry into transitioning to a low-emissions economy and presented its final report to the Government.
The Government asked the Commission to identify options for how New Zealand can reduce its domestic greenhouse gas emissions through a transition to a low-emissions economy, while at the same time continuing to grow income and wellbeing.
What did the inquiry find?
Numerous changes will be required across the economy – some disruptive, some less obvious. Three particular shifts must happen for New Zealand to achieve its low-emissions goals:
- We stop burning fossil fuels and switch to using electricity and other low-emission energy sources. This means a rapid and comprehensive switch of the light vehicle fleet to electric vehicles and other very low-emissions vehicles, and a switch away from fossil fuels in providing process heat for industry;
- We undertake substantial levels of afforestation to offset New Zealand’s remaining emissions. This will require sustained rates of planting over the next 30 years, potentially approaching the highest annual rate ever recorded in New Zealand; and
- We make changes to the structure and methods of agricultural production. This will include diversification of land use towards more horticulture and cropping, and greater adoption of low-emissions practices on farms.