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Consultation open on sweeping new measures to reduce NZ’s emissions

New Zealand's Climate Change Commission (CCC) released their Draft Advice for consultation on 1st February. It includes advice on the first three emissions budgets and on policy direction for the Government’s first emissions reduction plan. Consultation on this advice is open until 28th March. TomatoesNZ will be joining with HortNZ and Vegetables NZ to make a joint submission. Some key points included in the CCC advice:

Proposes replacing coal used for industrial process heat (including heating commercial vegetable greenhouses) with biomass and electricity by 2030; and replacing gas with biomass and electricity by 2035. Along with boiler conversion, they assume significant improvements in energy efficiency.

All new space heating or hot water systems installed after 2025 in new buildings (including glasshouses) would have to be either electric or biomass, and no further natural gas connections to the grid, or bottled LPG connections would be allowed to occur after 2025. The report notes constraints on biomass supply in some regions; and electrification of process heat will be at a significantly higher operational cost, with expansion of the electricity transmission and distribution grids also required. It notes biomass “uptake will require the development of supply chains for gathering and processing biomass along with the establishment of local markets.” And that process heat must be phased in a way that would enable assets and infrastructure to be replaced on “as natural a cycle as possible” to maintain growth while minimising costs from stranded or written-down assets.

They also advise on the phase out of industrial free allocation in the NZ ETS. “If an ongoing and substantial risk of emissions leakage becomes evident, industrial free allocation phase out rates could be slowed down.”

Following consultation, feedback will be incorporated and the final advice will be presented to Government by 31 May. The Government will have until 31 December to decide whether to accept the recommendations. The full report is available at the website. 

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