Monday, July 15, 2019

NZCPR Submission: Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill

Public submissions on the Government’s disastrous Zero Carbon close tomorrow, Tuesday the 16th of July – see HERE

We recommend that anyone concerned about the long term consequences for New Zealand of this Bill send in a submission – even a simple one – opposing it. The larger the number of opposing submissions, the more likely the Government is to listen – so please spread the message. 

You can see the submission submitted by the NZCPR below.

in addition, former Energy Minister Barry Brill has provided three new articles to help anyone planning to make a submission: 2050 – Costs vs BenefitsClimate-wise – We Are The Champions!, and Climate Scare Could Be Gone By 2030

Also, our NZCPR articles examining the Bill are HERE and HERE, an article by Bryan Leyland can be seen HERE, and a comprehensive analysis of the Bill by former Energy Minister Barry Brill can be seen HERE.

Don't forget, if you want to have your say on the Bill, there is no time to lose!

New Zealand Centre for Political Research
Submission: Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill


This submission on behalf of the New Zealand Centre for Political Research is opposed to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill and asks that it be withdrawn.

The New Zealand Centre for Political Research is a public policy think tank established in 2005 by former Member of Parliament Dr Muriel Newman.


The Bill, which takes a punitive approach by adopting a temperature reduction target that is completely unsuited to a nation where almost half of man-made greenhouse gas emissions are caused by livestock, is poorly researched and badly drafted.

The Regulatory Impact Statement does not fairly outline the cost of the policy. It significantly underestimates the devastating impact it will have on the New Zealand economy and on households – especially on low income families - while having no impact at all on the climate.

Economic damage

The economic damage this Bill will create through job losses, business failures, and financial hardship is overwhelmingly disproportionate to any benefits. 

Leadership abroad

According to the Bill’s explanatory note, one of the key driving forces behind this Bill is a desire by Government politicians to provide “leadership… abroad”.

In other words, the Government is prepared to sacrifice the living standards of New Zealanders - and our economic future – to look good on the world stage.

That is no way to govern our country. 

Delivering on the Paris Agreement

The explanatory note of the Bill states that it has been drafted to deliver on the Paris Agreement:

“The purpose of the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill is to provide a framework by which New Zealand can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies that contribute to the global effort under the Paris Agreement to limit the global average temperature increase to 1.5° Celsius above pre-industrial levels.”

The Paris Agreement requires countries to safeguard food production

The Paris Agreement, however, is very clear in that it requires governments, when planning on how they will meet their climate change targets, to not jeopardise food production.

In its preamble the Paris Agreement outlines how signatories are to recognise:

“the fundamental priority of safeguarding food security and ending hunger…”

In Article 2, the Paris Agreement then goes on to state:

“This Agreement, in enhancing the implementation of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, including its objective, aims to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty, including by increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production”.

In other words, safeguarding food security is a key requirement of the Paris Agreement. And the instruction to governments is very clear - the initiatives that they introduce to reduce greenhouse gas emissions must not undermine food production.

The New Zealand Government intentionally penalises food producers

The Bill’s explanatory note sets out the Government’s agricultural targets:

“The Bill will achieve its purpose by setting a new greenhouse gas emissions reduction target to reduce gross emissions of biogenic methane within the range of 24% to 47% below 2017 levels by 2050, with an interim requirement to reduce emissions to 10% below 2017 levels by 2030”.

The impact of these targets on the agricultural sector, according to the economic analyses provided by the Government, will be devastating.

The NZIER has estimated that the impact on dairy farming alone could result in a profit drop of 68 percent beneath baseline levels by 2050. Given the sector employs almost 40,000 people and provides around a quarter of the value of all export products produced in New Zealand, the destructive effect on downstream industries and the wider economy will be far-reaching.

In other words, the impossibly harsh restrictions this Zero Carbon Bill imposes on the agricultural sector will cause food production to fall substantially. 

This is in direct contravention of the Paris Agreement.

By deliberately including agricultural emission reductions in the Bill, the Minister of Climate Change James Shaw and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are knowingly penalising New Zealand’s food producing sector. In doing this they are deliberately in breach of the explicit requirement of the Paris Agreement to protect food suppliers.

The Bill will cause global emissions to rise

Since New Zealand’s agricultural sector is the most efficient food producer in the world, by forcing farmers out of business through the impossibly harsh restrictions found in the Bill, the Government will be responsible for significantly increasing global emissions as far-less efficient food producers step up production to fill the gap that will be left when New Zealand producers quit the market.


The New Zealand Centre for Political Research believes that through this Bill, which will damage our economy and severely penalise New Zealand’s food producers, the Government is failing in its fundamental responsibility to uphold a key guiding principles of the Paris Agreement – namely to maintain global food security. As such, it would be unconscionable to proceed with the Bill and undermine global food supplies. It should be withdrawn

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