Urgency and action needed in response to Climate Change Commission draft report, says Mercury


31 January 2021 – The Climate Change Commission’s draft report on New Zealand’s carbon budgets has a clear message that decisiveness and action is needed if New Zealand is to meet emission reduction targets needed to secure a more sustainable future.

Mercury encourages the Government to move swiftly to respond to the findings, says Chief Executive Vince Hawksworth.

“Everyone has a role to play, but it is clear that bold thinking and supportive policy settings from the Government are needed to meet emissions targets, sooner rather than later,” Hawksworth says.

“The Commission’s draft report is an important stepping-stone. The forward look it provides in terms of the emissions reduction requirements and carbon trading opportunities will help businesses with some of the certainty needed to plan and apply capital towards long term solutions.

The Government has started to build momentum, starting with the passing of the Zero Carbon Act, the commitment to decarbonise its own vehicle fleets and, as recently as the past week, the announcements of legislation to set a vehicle emission standard and to consider further incentives for low-emissions vehicles.

“There is still clearly much more to do. The electricity sector and Mercury stands ready to contribute further to a low carbon economy with enough renewable energy consented to support the transition of the entire light transport fleet,” Hawksworth says.

“What is essential is that policy continues to support the world leading ‘trilemma’ performance of the New Zealand electricity market; ensuring that we achieve our environmental goals, keep the lights on for New Zealanders and all of this at the least-cost for consumers.

“This will be helped by careful energy policy settings that stimulate demand for electricity, rather than chasing 100% renewable electricity generation targets which the Commission’s advice shows would be expensive and counterproductive to reducing emissions across the economy.

“We commend the Commission on its report, we commit to looking at the role we have to play in achieving the budgets outlined and we look forward to the Government moving with urgency to respond to the findings.”
 

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