Productivity Commission inquiry

Low-emissions economy - Productivity Commission inquiry material 2017 - 2018

The Productivity Commission completed its inquiry into transitioning to a low-emissions economy and presented its final report and recommendations to the Government in 2018.


The inquiry#

This inquiry investigated the challenges of, and identified opportunities for, reducing New Zealand's emissions, in the context of an ambition to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

The Commission engaged with a large and diverse group interested in climate change and mitigation policy. The inquiry team completed over 120 engagement meetings (including overseas), 34 conferences/events and received 403 submissions. Modelling work was also undertaken by a consortium of Vivid Economics, Concept Consulting and Motu Economic and Public Policy Research of different transition pathways to a low-emissions economy, examining respective impacts and outcomes.

What needs to be done?#

The Government needs to prioritise the following actions to achieve the above shifts at the right scale and pace:

  • Establish a comprehensive and durable climate change policy framework, including separate legislated long-term targets for short- and long-lived gases; a series of successive emissions budgets; and an independent Climate Change Commission;
  • Reform the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme and apply some form of emissions pricing to methane from agriculture and waste;
  • Devote significantly more resources to low-emissions innovation and technology to account for the long timeframes involved in bringing innovative ideas to fruition.

The Productivity Commission's final report also recommended a suite of other policy reforms to help drive the transition. These include introducing emissions standards for newly registered vehicles, a feebate scheme to accelerate the uptake of EVs, and mandatory climate-related financial disclosures.

Final report & Government response#

The Commission's final report was presented to the Government who announced a Climate Action Plan in August 2019. They released a response to the report, agreeing to 43 of the Commission's recommendations and agreement to do more work on 33 further recommendations.

New Zero Carbon Act#

On 7 November 2019, the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill was passed. This Act commits New Zealand to zero carbon by 2050 or sooner, sets a legally binding pathway to this target, and requires the Government to make a plan.

Timeline#

  • Terms of reference - 26 April 2017
    • Engagement and consultation starts
  • Issues paper - 9 August 2017
    • Submissions closed 2 October 2017
  • Draft report
    • Submissions closed 8 June 2018
  • Final report - 31 August 2018
  • Evaluation - November 2018
  • Government response - 3 August 2019

Key documents#

Final report and Government response#

Government response to the New Zealand Productivity Commission Low Emissions Economy report | Ministry for the Environment

Final Report: Low Emissions Economy Inquiry
Doc. Date Sort ascending Creator Title
New Zealand Productivity Commission
New Zealand Productivity Commission
New Zealand Productivity Commission
New Zealand Productivity Commission
Sherwin, Murray
New Zealand Productivity Commission

Terms of reference and issues paper#

Issues Paper: Low Emissions Economy Inquiry
Doc. Date Sort ascending Creator Title
New Zealand Productivity Commission
New Zealand Productivity Commission
Minister of Finance

Research#

Research: Low Emissions Economy Inquiry
Doc. Date Creator Title Sort descending
Weeks, Teresa
Concept Consulting; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; Vivid Economics
Motu Economic and Public Policy Research; Vivid Economics; Concept Consulting
Sapere Research Group; Stevenson, Toby; Batstone, Stephen; Reeve, David; Poynton, Matt; Comendan, Corina

Research (externally hosted)

1 May 2019 | Vivid Economics; Concept; Motu Economic and Public Policy Research | Modelling the transition to a lower net emissions New Zealand: Uncertainty analysis | Ministry for the Environment

Draft report#

Draft Report: Low Emissions Economy Inquiry
Doc. Date Sort ascending Creator Title
New Zealand Productivity Commission

Submissions#

Public submissions on issues paper - Low-emissions economy

Public submissions on draft report - Low-emissions economy

Evaluation#

Evaluation: Low Emissions Economy Inquiry
Doc. Date Sort ascending Creator Title
Craik, Wendy
New Zealand Productivity Commission
Pickens, David