The new law viz. the Zero Carbon Law 2019 provides the framework for New Zealand Government to formulate and implement climate change policies as per the Paris Agreement. This law aims to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels as negotiated at 21st Conference of Parties (CoP) referred to as Paris Agreement in 2015 which was ratified by New Zealand in October 2015 itself. The nationally determined contribution (NDC) prioritize to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. This emission cut is equivalent to 11% below 1990 levels by 2030.
Key provisions of the new law includes consultation with Māori and leadership bodies according to the obligations set down in Treaty of Waitangi, that established Climate Change Commission with target of net carbon emission reduction to zero by 2050.
They Zero Carbon Law provides for:
- Reduction in the net emissions of every greenhouse gases (GHG) except for biogenic methane to level of zero by 2050
- Biogenic methane to be reduced to 24% to 47 % below the 2017 levels by 2050, including to 10 % below 2017 levels by 2030
- Emissions budgets to be devised for a long-term target.
- Mandate to develop climate change adaptation and mitigation by the government for different sectors.
- Establishment of a new independent Climate Change Commission to monitor the emission reduction targets and tender expert advice to meet the climate change goals.
According to international obligations committed to by the New Zealand with respect to the climate change the Zero Carbon Law would go long way