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How would He Waka Eke Noa (agricultural emissions pricing system) accommodate a change in methane reduction targets following a review based on the latest science?

February 2023

New Zealand’s emissions budgets and targets must be reviewed every five years, starting in 2024, as set out in the Climate Change Response Act. The Government’s Section 215 report (December 2022) says the review is expected to look at all the relevant science, including latest research on metrics including GWP*.

Until that review is complete, and the Government makes decisions on it, it is not possible to know whether the current methane reduction targets will change.

Nevertheless, the system He Waka Eke Noa recommended for pricing emissions has been designed to be able to adapt to changing targets and prices.  A skills-based Oversight Board would provide advice on levy rates, setting the strategy for investment of levy revenue, including rates of reward for sequestration and incentives for uptake of mitigation technologies.  If methane were reducing in line with the target, or exceeding the target, then the price would adjust.

The S215 report proposes the Climate Change Commission would advise Cabinet on levy rates after consultation with the Oversight Board (that has representation from the agriculture sector and Māori). Māori, the agriculture sector and the public at large would then also be consulted.

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