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Friday, 3 September 2021

New research documents challenges with industrial free allocation in the NZ ETS

The following press release was issued by Motu on 3 September 2021.  

A new paper from Motu Research documents why the current approach to industrial free allocation under the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) is outdated, poses high costs to Kiwi taxpayers, could make it harder to meet our 2050 climate change target and raises fairness issues across sectors.  

These issues underpin the government’s current consultation on reform options to industrial free allocation open until 17 September 2021. This paper presents further reform options the government and stakeholders could consider.

Saturday, 3 April 2021

New proposal to boost voluntary climate action

This post was first published in Newsroom

By Catherine Leining, a Policy Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and a Climate Change Commissioner

Many organisations want to go the extra distance to support the transition to lower emissions and fight climate change. Catherine Leining outlines Motu Research's proposal for how to incentivise and assist voluntary climate action.

Aotearoa New Zealand faces a gap in meeting its 2030 climate change target under the international Paris Agreement. And the world faces a collective gap in committed action to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 C above pre-industrial levels.

An innovative policy proposal from Motu Research could mobilise voluntary climate action to help bridge those gaps and enable organisations to make credible, transparent and marketable emission mitigation claims.

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Even with a pandemic, we cannot afford to press 'pause' on climate action

Photo by Jan Kaluza on Unsplash
Catherine Leining is a Policy Fellow at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research and a New Zealand Climate Change Commissioner.

On 4 May 2020, as Parliament was emerging from lock down, so too did the Environment Committee’s report on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill. This Bill deserves close attention, as the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has a critical role to play in post-pandemic recovery.

The most crucial features of the Bill remain the same: to add a cap to our cap-and-trade system; to guard against extreme emission prices; to improve incentives for new forests; and to prepare the way for pricing agricultural emissions.

Friday, 1 May 2020

Illuminating carbon market dynamics using the NZ ETS Cap Explorer Tool

By Ruth Copeland, Communications Director, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

With the Environment Select Committee due to report back on the Climate Change Response (Emissions Trading Reform) Amendment Bill, perhaps this is a timely reminder to have a good look at the NZ ETS Cap Explorer Tool released last year by Motu. The government plans to improve the current ETS by introducing a ‘cap’ on emissions covered by the scheme. This cap will reduce over time to help us meet our emission reduction targets.



The tool is designed to highlight complex ETS dynamics using data derived from the modelling of hypothetical scenarios. If you adjust the parameters within the various scenarios, you can easily investigate the effect on emission levels and prices.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

What a small country’s successes and mistakes can teach us about emission pricing

By Suzi Kerr, Chief Economist at Environmental Defense Fund. First published at EDF's blog.

I’m from Aotearoa, New Zealand, and I really love its land and people, but I am fully aware that from a global perspective it appears pretty insignificant – that’s actually one of its charms.  But being small doesn’t mean you can’t make big contributions including toward stabilizing the climate. This recently published article highlights some lessons New Zealand’s experience with emissions trading can offer other Emissions Trading System (ETS) designers at a time when effective climate action is ever more urgent.

Talking intensively to ETS practitioners and experts around the globe about their diverse choices and the reasons why they made them has made me acutely aware of the need to tailor every ETS to local conditions.  In a complex, heterogeneous world facing an existential crisis, diversity in climate policy design makes us stronger and frankly, improves the odds that the young people we love will live in a world where they can thrive.

Friday, 17 January 2020

Social Cost of Carbon: final big questions (with help from the birds)

Photo by Francesco Veronesi on Flickr cc by 2.0
by Bronwyn Bruce-Brand, Research Analyst at Motu Economic and Public Policy Research

This is the final in a series of three posts answering key questions about the Social Cost of Carbon (SCC). To help keep you interested, I have inserted some egg-cellent ideas about how we might get SCC to soar.

Ma ngā huruhuru ka rere te manu: It is the feathers that enable the bird to fly.