Today, the Ministry for the Environment released a public consultation on the development of New Zealand’s first-ever Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). The Emissions Reduction Plan will be one of the most important, most comprehensive plans this Government creates. It will set out exactly how Ministers, across Government, plan to reduce climate pollution to meet our emissions targets and address the climate crisis.

Taking action on climate change is increasingly urgent. Aotearoa New Zealand’s first emissions reduction plan will set out the actions we will take to meet our first emissions budget, put us on the path to meet our second and third, and transition to a low-emissions future in a way that is achievable and affordable.

The Ministry for the Environment want to hear your views on what should be included in the plan. They would like to know if you think these are the right types of policies, if they go far enough and what you think should be changed.

Access the PDF discussion document here

Access the DOCX discussion document here

Read the discussion document's full list of questions here

How to make a submission: 
Find out more and have your say here

What NTCF is doing:
All Forum participants are encouraged to make personal submissions.

The What We Make, Buy and Waste group is planning to review the information that the The Zero Waste Network of Aotearoa have documented here, to inform the response they are planning to develop to the Discussion Document. If you have any questions please contact group administrator Karen Driver here

A forum-wide submission is in preparation. Joanna Santa Barbara has worked on a coordinated draft Forum response to the Emissions Reduction Plan Discussion Document that is in the process of endorsement amongst the Signatories as described HERE. If you want to be kept in touch, please write an email to Marlene, at

In the meantime, to make the ERP discussion document more accessible Jenny Easton has has created this LIST OF TOPICS with their corresponding page and question numbers.

We are also attaching some guides from like-minded associations (not all of whose conclusions are necessarily endorsed by the Forum):

Whether or not you make a personal submission, please add your comments below, and we will weave them into a Forum-level response, if possible.

The government’s deadline for all responses is November 24th. 

You need to be a member of Nelson Tasman Climate Forum to add comments!

Join Nelson Tasman Climate Forum


  • Here is a copy of the talk Jenny Easton gave to the October Hui about the ERP submission

    Final ERP talk to CF 30 Oct


    The Emission Reduction Plan  consultation document gives us the opportunity to rally public support behind more ambitious carbon reduction budgets.


     We have to do this because politicians want the public to lead them in climate change. They worry about being re-elected if they do bold actions without public support, and the vested interests in maintaining the status quo keep lobbying very loudly.


    The Emission Reduction Plan is based around budgets that reduce carbon emissions for the next  4,  5, 5 years, and the policies to make these reductions. The Intergovernmental Panel has said we have to halve our emissions by 2030 to have a chance of keeping below 1.5 degrees, and our Zero Carbon Act requires us to do our part for this, as well as meeting the 2050 targets. 


    The Government has followed the Climate Commissions advice when setting these first 3 carbon budgets, BUT that advice has been challenged with Judicial Review by the Lawyers for Climate Action because it doesnt meet the 1.5 requirements. 


    We can assume from the scientists and the lawyers requirements for 1.5 degrees, that the emission  reduction budgets in this Plan should be steeper, because they are about 100 megatonnes  of CO2e too generous for the next 9 years.


    The Climate Commission made 33 recommendations for the Plan and the Ministries have started drawing up policies to meet them. So far Transport, waste, refrigerants have done a good job, the others are miles behind and thats where we come in.


    Now is our chance to put in ideas and provide public support and encouragement for more ambitious carbon reduction policies.


    The consultation document has 114 questions and its best to submit using those Qs to make it easier for the staff collating the ideas. Each section of the doco has an open ended question…..what else would you like to tell us, so we are not being muzzled.


    There is a handout to help you choose which topics you want to submit on..every voice counts.


    There are some overarching issues we need to consider:


    1. People act as though fossil fuel is cheap, and it is because the huge environmental cost is not included. They dont believe it will ever run out. But it will, and we have to get used to not only transitioning to renewable energy, but running our society on less total energy.


    1. Behaviour change and climate change  information is seriously lacking, not just for the public, but central and local government politicians, mayors, council staff, NZTA staff, construction firms, engineers, students,farmers, everyone.
    2. We have a 3year election cycle and yet industries and the public need  policies and regulations to be constant when Mayors and Governments change. To get cross party support, we have to put public pressure on all MPs and councillors.


    1. Social disruption is possible as we have seen with Covid, because there is so much inequality in NZ, and yet we need the social licence for steep carbon reduction budgets.


     Finally, we have to cater for increasing population as NZers return home, immigration provides expertise and refugees are made welcome.


    There are 7 key issues I would like to suggest for submissions


    1.  Electricity. We need 70% more electricity to replace fossil fuel and it all has to be renewable.  Local systems close to the communities are most efficient: microgrids, wind farms, solar panels and solar hot water.  We need to change the corporate ownership system,  but also we waste a lot of electricity and could get by with less if we were more frugal.


    1. Agriculture.  Agriculture's draft carbon reduction policy is due soon, and final version  early next year. However we can usefully submit now. Methane in its first 20 years in the atmosphere is 80x worse than CO2 so a rapid reduction in ruminant animals will help keep the planet to 1.5 degrees. Nitrous oxide is 300x worse than CO2 plus it is a long lived gas. It comes from urine, and synthetic fertilizer used in intensive farming and horticulture, and this should be phased out.


    3.Forestry. Isnt the answer  If in the next 30 years we plant masses of commercial forests to offset our carbon emissions there will be no room left for future generations to offset. When the wild fires destroy the forests, the carbon goes into the atmosphere. Wilding pines can spread over neighboring land, and if good rural land is used we reduce food cropping potential.


    1. Biodiversity There is an ecological  crisis as well as a climate crisis so we need to expand wetlands,  plant new native forests, maintain existing native forests by culling the deer, goats and pigs and possums that are destroying them.

     We can advocate for  wetlands, blue carbon (estuaries) and soil to go into the ETS and ask for more research into measurement.


    1. Urban development and climate responsible buildings. What suggestions can we make?... Eg white roofs to reflect heat,  wood not concrete and steel,  intensification,  build up not out to stop urban sprawl over rural land.


    1. Just transition.  What ambitious ideas do we have to reduce inequality?


    1. Education. There is a good climate change resource for schools, but it is voluntary, and the teachers need training before they can teach it. 


    We could ask for the Public Health type of messaging used for Covid to be used for bold climate actions to motivate and educate the public, local officials,industry and everyone. 


    This is where we can advocate for citizens or peoples assemblies, participatory budgeting where the public help the councils decide how to spend the carbon budget and rates.  And other methods of public engagement for these big, intergenerational issues.




    • These are important points thanks Jenny for describing them so succinctly. The discussion document has figures for transport, but they are simply goals not specific objectives. Much of our increase in emissions is from this source. More importantly transport is something we can readily fix if we choose to. Just as incentives stopped us smoking and are now accelerating our COVID-19 vaccination rates, so too we need more key incentives to reduce transport use, use public transport and switch to EVs bikes.  Proven transport incentives in other countries  have not been adopted here. . I highlight this in my submission.


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