Businesses and communities around New Zealand will be welcoming the Government’s announcement that it will take its time introducing new climate change legislation, National Party Climate Change spokesperson Todd Muller says.

“Legislation like this has the potential to materially change our trajectory as a country. If done badly, it could have real consequences to New Zealand’s communities and the businesses and families that make them up, so this conversation must not be rushed.

“Transitioning to a lower carbon economy may provide real economic opportunities in clean tech industries, but it could also cause significant shock and pain to our established sectors - and economic prosperity - if it is not managed in a way that is proportional to our impact, or if it is disconnected with what our trading partners are considering.

“The Coalition Government inherits a strong framework to reduce our carbon emissions profile over time. The National Government committed to the Paris Agreement in 2015 and ratified it last year. It’s our strong view that any extension to the 2030 and 2050 commitments will need considered in consultation with stakeholders across all our communities. 

“The Government has signalled it will seek Opposition feedback and support in drafting climate change legislation, which we look forward to. I’m particularly interested in testing how a successful model like the UK Independent Climate Commission might work here. 

“Our primary focus for the conversations ahead of us is that any transition to a low carbon economy must ensure local communities can adjust and thrive, rather than seeking accolades from the UN. 

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