NZCA Climate change policy (2021)
IntroductionRead the NZCA's policy on climate change and understand how it will evaluate the climate change implications of its decisions and policy positions, and adopt appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce greenhouse emissions and risk.
Adopted October 2021
- To ensure that the Authority understands and addresses climate change impacts in both national and international contexts, evaluates the climate change implications of its decisions and policy positions, and adopts appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies to reduce greenhouse emissions and risk.
- In 2020, the New Zealand Government declared a climate change emergency and committed to a carbon-neutral government by 2025. The motion to declare such an emergency recognised the “alarming trend in species decline and global biodiversity”, including the indigenous biodiversity of Aotearoa.
- New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to instil its commitments into law by way of the Zero Carbon Act 2019. This Act provides a framework by which Aotearoa can develop and implement clear and stable climate change policies.
- New Zealand ratified the Paris Agreement in 2016, agreeing to be bound by the terms of the agreement, for which detailed rules were negotiated between 2016-20. New Zealand’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) takes effect from 2021, committing Aotearoa to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to 30% below 2005 levels, by 2030.
- The Authority has long since recognised and considered the threat of climate change. Equally, the Authority recognises its leadership role in conservation and is committed to influencing action on the NDC through leading by example.
Alignment with te Tiriti o Waitangi / Treaty of Waitangi
- The Authority will take cognisance of the impacts of the changing climate on tangata whenua.
Understands and addresses climate change impacts in a national and international context
- The Authority will be cognisant of the regular scientific assessments on climate change produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC); these reports assess the implications and risks of climate change and provide adaption and mitigation options.
- The Authority will similarly be cognisant of the regular reports released by Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) as they intersect with IPCC reports, due to the interactive stressors of both the climate and biodiversity crises.
- The Authority will schedule regular updates on climate change, seeking to receive the most up to date scientific analyses and the implications for conservation.
Evaluates the climate change implications of its decisions and policy positions
- In providing advice to the Minister and the Director-General of Conservation, the Authority will consider climate change mitigation and adaption.
- In its decision-making role regarding consideration and approval of Conservation Management Strategies and National Park Management Plans, the Authority will consider climate change mitigation and adaption.
- The Authority will advocate for environmental safeguards in any new initiative for which the Authority makes a submission or provides advice.
Committed to greenhouse emissions reductions and risk management through appropriate mitigation and adaptation strategies.
- The Authority will calculate, as far as practicable, its carbon footprint and publish this in its Annual Reports.
- Whilst undertaking Authority business, members, as far as practicable, will minimise their carbon emissions (e.g. taxi-sharing, locally-sourced lunches, walking between locations where possible, accepting digital meeting papers).
- The Authority holds six meetings each year, and this involves travel of members based in many different locations across the country, and as such domestic flights are unavoidable. To counter this carbon-spend, the Authority will purchase carbon offsets for flights.
- The Authority may offer the option for guest speakers to attend the meeting virtually, where the value of a virtual interaction will not hinder the outcomes of discussion.
- When engaging with external businesses for any matter (e.g. printers), the Authority members and servicing staff will give preference to those that have sustainable practices.
- All waste produced by the Authority will be appropriately disposed of and composted or recycled.
Key relevant documents
- Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019
- Climate Change Response Act 2002
- Paris Agreement, UNFCCC
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis, August 2021
- Department of Conservation, Climate Change Adaptation Action Plan (CCAAP)
 Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019. MfE website.
 NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2) requires each Party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. UNFCCC website.