Energy sector well-placed to advance COP 28 outcomes

New Zealand's energy sector sees the COP 28 outcomes as showing the real-world pragmatism needed for countries to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Energy Resources Aotearoa Chief Executive John Carnegie says:

"While these agreements set the global context for action, New Zealand is already well on the journey to our low emissions future thanks to our world leading Emissions Trading Scheme and the Energy Resources Sector Net Zero Accord.

"New Zealand’s energy sector is providing affordable and secure energy while reducing emissions. The recently-released update on the Energy Resources Sector Net Zero Accord showcases the emissions reduction progress."

Carnegie says that under the right policy settings even more emissions reductions will be able to be achieved.

"The Accord provides a platform to collaborate with the new Government to help it deliver the prosperous, innovative and thriving economy on which its decarbonisation efforts must be based. Further momentum will come from partnership, investment, and innovation.

"Our Accord, in conjunction with the ETS, will be critical to getting us to net zero emissions by or before 2050."

Carnegie says that while the ETS should be the main tool to get New Zealand to net zero emissions, the COP agreement further highlighted sensible, science-based ways that could help us reach net zero in a more affordable and less disruptive way.

"We are an outlier in the developed world for not having an enabling regime for carbon capture and storage. CCS is helping other countries towards their net zero emissions goals and should be urgently introduced here within our wider regulatory and emissions trading frameworks.

"We must remember that our collective global climate goals are long term. The resumption of oil and gas exploration will facilitate the massive uptake of renewable energy, and the decarbonisation of transport, while ensuring New Zealand’s energy security and resilience."

Carnegie says that the use of natural gas in conjunction with carbon capture is consistent with COP outcomes around secure and resilient net zero emissions energy systems and utilising zero and low carbon fuels well before or by around mid-century.

"In a similar vein to the new Government, the COP has explicitly recognised that fossil fuels play a role in facilitating the energy transition while ensuring energy security.

"New Zealand's energy sector is already doing the heavy lifting to transition to our low emissions future through the Accord and ETS. These are helping Kiwi firms and households adjust to their low emissions journey without the consequences of unjust, disorderly, and inequitable distortions that can be created by heavy-handed interventionist policies."