Building resilience into our land, economy and communities.
To create a fairer future for all New Zealanders, we need a just transition to a climate-resilient society.
Current and future generations are counting on us to reduce our emissions, regenerate our natural world and prepare for the impacts of climate change. We need to make hard choices and enact creative policy now, to live up to this responsibility.
To transform New Zealand for widespread, rapid emissions reductions, we propose three system-level policies:
Empowering farmers to be biodiversity champions
A national system rewarding land-owners who regenerate marginal landscapes for biodiversity, carbon sequestration and other environmental gains. We’ll create a natural capital economy by incentivising farmers to change their land-use practices where it makes most sense to them. This includes investing in data-mapping, analysis, land-guardian training & support and biodiversity credits.
An Emissions Trading Scheme with teeth
Our national carbon cap & trade system needs to drive emissions down faster, not incentivise offsetting our way to net-zero by 2050. We will strengthen the ETS by excluding new forestry, instituting a hard cap on units, empowering the Climate Change Commission to set the carbon price through a new Official Carbon Rate (OCAR) and re-investing more of the scheme’s revenues into renewable energy development, emissions free transport and a carbon dividend.
Electrify our streets
To decarbonize the way New Zealand moves, we’ll electrify the national urban bus fleet by 2030 and scale-up investment in charging infrastructure nationwide. The scheme brings forward the Government’s current goal of decarbonisation of the public transport bus fleet by five years, and looks to completely fund regional councils to make the switch.
With a fleet of 3,000 buses by 2030 and the accompanying charging infrastructure, the estimated cost is $2.5 billion. The switch would result in an annual reduction in CO2-e emissions of approximately 171,000 tonnes, or the equivalent to taking 75,000 petrol cars driven for one year, off our roads.
We will also encourage a shift away from cars with fully funded public transport and a $1,500 credit for bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters for under 30’s through our Teal Card policy.
Because climate change is now a lived reality for an increasing number of New Zealanders, The Opportunities Party is also committed to a range of adaptation policy-areas, including:
- Reviewing urban planning & development practices to ensure our future homes and communities are not built in harm’s way.
- Urban greening programmes to manage heat in our cities.
- Managed retreat.
- Green finance (e.g. New Zealand Green Investment Finance).
- Products and partnerships with the insurance industry to ensure support for those New Zealanders impacted by severe weather events.
- Ensuring national security and disaster relief capabilities are fit for purpose.
- Developing a policy for supporting internal and external climate refugees - our Teal Visa.