Media Release: Climate Change Commission shows economic transformation is unnecessary

Media release
26 March, 2021

The Climate Change Commission has made no convincing case for its sweeping economic reforms to reduce emissions, says Matt Burgess, Senior Economist at The New Zealand Initiative.

Analysis by the Climate Change Commission shows current policies, including the Emissions Trading Scheme (“ETS”), will deliver New Zealand’s emissions targets.

“That makes the Commission’s radical reforms unnecessary,” says Mr Burgess, the lead author of the submission.

“The Climate Change Commission’s analysis also shows New Zealand can maintain net zero emissions after 2050 without relying too heavily on forestry,” Mr Burgess says.

The Climate Commission’s analysis shows:

  • Current policies with a $50 ETS will deliver net zero emissions in 2050.
  • New Zealand can maintain net zero emissions after 2050 with moderate or no additional forestry under current policies.
  • The Commission’s plan costs five times more to achieve the same emissions target, and
  • The Commission’s plan plants more exotic and native trees than current policies.

“There can be no case for radical reforms of the economy given these findings from the Climate Change Commission.”

The submission by The New Zealand Initiative also says the Climate Change Commission has not shown its reforms will deliver lower emissions, and the Commission has not been transparent.

“Current policies tick every box. They deliver our emissions targets affordably, permanently, and domestically.”

“As a good international citizen, New Zealand should meet its emissions targets. The good news from Climate Change Commission is that we have the tools we need to deliver.”

You can read the New Zealand Initiative’s submission here

Disclosure: Matt Burgess owns a small number of NZUs through the SALT Fund.


Matt Burgess is available for comment. To arrange a time, please contact:

Simone White, Communications Officer
+64 4 494 9109 / +64 21293 7250


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