The July edition of InfraRead noted that following the Climate Change Commission’s final advice to the Government on how New Zealand can reach its climate target, the Government had until 31 December 2021 to set the first three emissions budgets out to 2035 and release its first all-of-government emissions reduction plan.

Cabinet agreed to begin consulting for six weeks on the Emissions Reduction Plan in early October but has decided to push out the timing of the final plan by five months to the end of May 2022.

It appears consultation will take place on a consultation document as opposed to a draft Emission Reduction Plan. It is unclear whether New Zealanders will get an opportunity to provide comments and feedback on a draft Emissions Reduction Plan.

The Minister for Climate Change, Hon James Shaw, has stated the change will allow organisations and communities key to the Emissions Reduction Plan’s success to focus on getting through the worst of the Covid-19 outbreak before engaging with the plan.

Minister Shaw says the new timeline will also align with the 2022 National Budget.

The final Emissions Reduction Plan will set out the policies and strategies Aotearoa New Zealand will take to meet the country’s first ever emissions budget. It will also set the direction for how future emissions budgets will be met.