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Excellent Commission Report Shows Net Zero Is Doable And Affordable



EDS has congratulated the Climate Commission on the
release of its Advice Report and first budgets and for
setting out the direction of travel for our economy to meet
the climate change challenge we face as a nation and
globally.

“The Commission’s report is a truly
historic turning point for Aotearoa New Zealand: we are
shifting from talking about climate change to beginning the
planned journey to a net zero economy,” said EDS CEO Gary
Taylor.

“This will affect every aspect of our lives
through to 2050 and beyond as we progressively reduce
dependence on fossil fuels and lower methane emissions to
stable and sustainable levels.

“There are three key
messages that we take from the release.

“First,
business as usual will not get us to our 2030 targets or to
carbon zero by 2050. Aotearoa New Zealand is not even on
track to meet its National Determined Contribution under the
Paris Accord. Serious change is needed to the way we use
energy and farm our land.

“Secondly, the path that
the Commission has proposed will get us back on track to
meet the required targets and make the necessary
contribution to the global effort to prevent runaway climate
change and to address the climate emergency our Parliament
has recognized. The global context is encouraging with big
emitting countries like China, Japan, the UK and now the USA
moving aggressively to reduce emissions.

“Thirdly,
the path set out by the Commission is achievable. We can do
this if business and communities pull together and if
government adopts the Commission’s recommendations and
makes the policy shifts required. Yes, there are challenges
and the transition to net zero has to be fair to all. But we
can get there with presently available technologies and with
minimal impact on GDP.

“EDS will take time to
thoroughly analyse the report and its extensive appendices
and provide considered response back to the
Commission.

“We remain concerned about the treatment
of agriculture and the way the Commission has budgeted to
just meet the target range. That needs more consideration
and given the stated imperatives for early action, we would
like to see the review of He waka eke noa brought
forward into this calendar year: agriculture needs to join
the ETS sooner rather than later. We can’t afford to
continue to shield the sector.

“We also want to do a
deep dive into the modelling for forestry. Even more exotics
is not good. The Commission acknowledges the superior
sequestration and co-benefits of indigenous forests but
still proposes several hundred thousand more hectares of new
pine plantations and only a smaller area of natives. Surely
we have reached peak pine in this country.

“We need
a robust pricing signal that includes biodiversity benefits
to encourage the land use changes
required.

“Finally, we will be working
co-operatively with business to plan our Climate Change
and Business Conference 2021
in October which
will be an opportunity to take early stock of progress and
focus on implementing change consistent with the
Commission’s budgets.

“This journey is about
modernizing our economy and making it fit for the future
world. It’s a truly exciting plan. Overall, the Climate
Commission has done a great job and we like the way it
proposes to monitor and report on progress and hold
government to account.

“The Climate Commission has
set out Our Path and I expect the team of five million will
rise to the challenge it has laid down,” Gary Taylor
concluded.

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