Climate change advocacy


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CCC target review Submissions

DairyNZ is advocating for fair and scientifically robust emissions targets. The impending review of emissions targets should account for the warming impacts of methane and the global ramifications of New Zealand’s actions. It is also essential New Zealand develops a regulatory environment that enables dairy farmers to easily and quickly adopt emission-reducing technologies as they become available.

NZ’s legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets are part of a collective effort to transition to a more resilient, low emissions economy.

The Climate Change Commission is an independent body that advises Government on matters relating to climate change. The Climate Change Response Act 2002 requires the Government to set emissions targets, following recommendations from the Climate Change Commission.

In 2019 the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act set the following targets into law:

  • All greenhouse gases (except biogenic methane):
    • Reduce net emissions to zero by 2050 and beyond
  • Biogenic methane:
    • Reduce gross emissions to 10% below 2017 levels by 2030
    • Reduce gross emissions to 24-47% below 2017 levels by 2050 and beyond

Why has biogenic methane been separated out?

New Zealand adopted a ‘split gas’ approach that recognises that biogenic methane does not need to reduce to net zero emissions like other greenhouse gases. This is because biogenic methane behaves differently in the atmosphere and has a different warming impact.

What’s the difference between ‘gross’ and ‘net’ targets?

Gross targets involve reducing greenhouse gas emissions – reducing how much is added to the atmosphere.

Net targets involve a combination of greenhouse gas reduction and removal (e.g. carbon sequestration from forests).

Climate Change Commission target review 2024

Every five years the Climate Change Commission must consider a review of legislated targets.

The Commission’s advice to Government on the first review is due at the end of 2024. The Government will have one year to consider this advice before deciding on 1) whether and 2) how to review the targets.

This means the review process will be underway until the end of 2025 at the earliest.

The review can consider changes to what the target is, what emissions and removals it applies to, when the target must be met by, and how much can be met by domestic removals or offshore mitigation.

DairyNZ is engaged in the review process and will be advocating for fair targets for dairy farmers.

There will be opportunities for you to have your say during the Commission’s public consultation phase in mid-2024. DairyNZ will support farmers through this process. We’ll update this page once we know more.

More information on the Climate Change Commission’s process can be found here:Call for evidence: Emissions reduction targets and emissions budgets - He Pou a Rangi » Climate Change Commission - Citizen Space (climatecommission.govt.nz)

Why is the review important?

Targets determine how far and how fast New Zealand reduces its greenhouse emissions. Targets will inform the policies put in place to meet them. For the agricultural sector, the target will impact what level of reductions farmers will be expected to make to their on-farm emissions, and by when.

DairyNZ believes targets must reflect the latest science, and consider what other countries are doing, the mitigation technologies and tools available, and the economic and social impacts.

DairyNZ believes an accurate picture of the warming impact of methane is critical to inform the target review. Understanding the warming impacts of emissions will better inform New Zealand’s contribution towards limiting the impacts of climate change and allow policy decisions around burden sharing to take place transparently.


Last updated: Aug 2023