Submissions for the Zero Carbon Bill close on the 16th of July 2019. This is a historic moment, but it’s important we make it one we can be proud of for generations to come. There are just 5 days left to submit to the environment committee before the second reading.

Read 350 Aotearoa’s submission below and click here to submit.


350 Aotearoa envisions a low-carbon economy and equitable future for everyone. Creating a legal framework towards a zero carbon future is essential to ensure that Aotearoa does its fair share to keep warming below 1.5C. It is vital that this Bill reflects a commitment from current and future governments to protecting New Zealand’s natural character, waterways, and indigenous flora and fauna, Aotearoa’s diverse communities of people, and our role in the South Pacific. These should outweigh the vested interests of corporations and industries in this consultation process.

Aotearoa has a responsibility to fight for climate justice. This bill needs to centre the rights of Māori communities, our Pacific neighbours, refugee and migrant communities, other countries that will carry the highest burden of climate impacts, and for younger and future generations. Solutions to address the climate crisis and meet targets need to be negotiated with tangata whenua in recognition of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

This Bill should also ensure that Aotearoa’s transition to a zero carbon future is grounded in justice and equity. It needs to ensure a plan for a just transition of the country’s workforce, particularly for workers in greenhouse gas intensive industries. 

350 Aotearoa is concerned by the current placement of Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill within the Climate Change Response Act 2002, that allows for emissions trading on the international market. Aotearoa’s emissions budgets and targets must be achieved by actual cuts in our gross domestic emissions, and not through the purchase of overseas carbon credits or an over-reliance on forests as carbon sinks. 


  • We request that the Zero Carbon Act has a 2040 target of net zero emissions of all greenhouse gases, that limits our contribution to warming to no more than 1.5ºC. This is to ensure that we do our fair share as a developed nation. Considering New Zealand’s emissions are disproportionately made up of methane, compared to other countries, we need to set a global precedent for the treatment of methane.
  • We request that aviation and shipping emissions be included in our long term target and in the setting of emissions budgets.
  • We request that emissions reduction plans are required to be adequate for meeting emissions budgets under section 5ZD, and that section 5ZJ be removed to allow the courts to determine remedies if targets and budgets are not met.
  • We request section 5ZK be amended to say that all government bodies must take targets and budgets into account.
  • We strongly support the requirement to have regard to the distribution of impacts on communities in the setting of emissions budgets.
  • We strongly support the representation of Māori at governance and executive levels in response to climate change, including making technical knowledge and expertise of Te Tiriti and Te Ao Māori mandatory in the composition of the Climate Change Commission. 
  • We ask that the Bill be revised to include a gross emissions target, or a forestry offset cap, to limit our risky reliance on trees.
  • We support the requirement for national adaptation planning but suggest that central government and local government should take a partnership approach in terms of both funding and knowledge to best inform these plans.