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The Climate Emergency Response Fund

In 2021, the Government announced the establishment of a new ‘Climate Emergency Response Fund’ (CERF). The fund was set up with an initial $4.5 billion ‘down payment’ for Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate spending, proportional to the proceeds of the Emissions Trading Scheme.

The CERF is an enduring, multi-year fund which is designed to address the long-term nature of many of the challenges presented by climate change. The CERF is intended to provide a dedicated funding source for public investment on climate-related initiatives distinct from the main Budget allowances.

An initiative is eligible for funding from the CERF if it:

  • is included in an Emissions Reduction Plan, or directly supports emissions reductions (domestically or internationally),
  • is included in a National Adaptation Plan, or directly reduces vulnerability or exposure to the impacts of climate change,
  • supports a te ao Māori approach to the climate response,
  • addresses the distributional impacts of climate change or the climate policy response, or
  • supports the development of any initiatives meeting these criteria in the future.

CERF Monitoring and Reporting

Any agency which receives CERF funding is required to provide regular monitoring and reporting updates on its CERF initiatives to Treasury for publication. Financial reporting is required on a quarterly basis and non-financial information is required annually. The information is focused on initiative level insights.

This approach is different to the Crown’s existing monitoring and reporting processes, which are focused on appropriation-level data. This shift in granularity in CERF reporting has been done to provide an additional layer of scrutiny for special purpose funding provided for climate objectives.

Results for the first and second quarters of the 2022/23 financial year are now available.

For each initiative these results show the actual spending for the year to date, alongside forecasts for the next three quarters. Spending is tracked against the baseline appropriation for each initiative and any material changes to that baseline are also indicated.

Table overview of results - Reporting CERF (PDF 360.14 KB)

Although 26 initiatives were funded from the CERF in Budget 2022, one initiative has not been included in the dataset. That initiative is ‘Increasing woody biomass supply to replace coal and other carbon intensive fuels and materials’. This is because the funding is being held centrally until further design work has been completed. This means funding has not yet commenced, so cannot be reported against.

This data can be accessed in an open-source format here, alongside a data dictionary. Users of the data should note that this data is still subject to audit.

The next set of results, for the three months from 1 January 2023, will be available in mid-2023.

The Size of the CERF

At its establishment in late 2021, the CERF was set up with funding equivalent to the available cash proceeds from the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) over the four years from 2022/23 to 2025/26. Since then, the Government has chosen to update its balance on the same basis. The current balance in the fund (after accounting for spending to date) is $3.6 billion.

Last updated: 
Friday, 31 March 2023