New Zealand needs to reduce its emissions drastically across all areas in order to reach this net zero emissions target. This will require a number of different approaches, and the support of government, business, and the community.
As a country, we will need to reimagine the way we travel, generate energy, produce food, manage waste, develop agriculture, build infrastructure, and develop our towns and cities. We can also ‘offset’ our emissions through carbon sequestration, or carbon capture. Carbon sequestration means capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and storing it using trees, wetlands and soils.
The Council recognises the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as quickly as possible, while continuing to support the wider needs of the community. This means we need to manage the speed at which we reduce greenhouse gas emissions to enable time for a just and equitable transition to a low greenhouse gas emissions economy.
If our cuts are too drastic before we can undertake detailed analysis, there is the risk of not understanding potentially harmful impacts on the community and the economy.
However, if we act too slowly to reduce our emissions,we won’t be taking the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5°C, may miss opportunities to adopt useful new technologies, and won’t be leading on climate action.