Scion submission on Climate Change Commission’s draft advice

26 June 2023

Last week we submitted Scion’s input to the He Pou a Rangi – Climate Change Commission’s draft advice to the government on the next Emission Reduction Plan.  You can read our submission here.

The Commission’s advice makes it clear that reducing emissions – and keeping them down – will take significant and coordinated effort over the next several decades if Aotearoa New Zealand is to meet its targets to 2050 and beyond.  Forests and forestry are an essential part of that, and our submission makes three main points:

  • We agree that New Zealand’s climate change response needs a much clearer and more ambitious focus on supporting ambitious reductions in gross emissions.
  • Forests are an essential part of New Zealand’s climate change response, which must maintain balanced and effective incentives to continued afforestation of both indigenous and exotic forests. New Zealand’s problem is not that we’re planting too much forest – it’s that we’re not moving fast enough to reduce gross emissions.
  • We encourage the Commission to be more ambitious and systemic in its thinking, as we see much greater opportunity for policies to be mutually reinforcing, for instance through encouraging much greater reductions of gross emissions in transport, energy, and the built environment through greater use of products and materials derived from woody biomass. This would support greater gross emissions reduction while at the same time helping create additional demand for afforestation outside of the ETS.