Outcome Four: Value is sustainably derived from the natural environment

Aotearoa New Zealand’s natural environment is important to our sense of identity and has great cultural and recreational significance. It also supports crucial economic activity.

Outcome Four progress bar

MBIE plays a lead role in developing the settings to support the transition to a low-carbon economy while maintaining secure and affordable energy for New Zealanders. We are at the forefront of policy work on new measures that will require the financial sector to disclose the impacts of climate change on their businesses. The Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosure and Other Matters) Amendment Bill was introduced to Parliament in April 2021 and, once passed, will require publicly listed companies and large insurers, banks, non-bank deposit takers and investment managers to disclose information about the impacts that climate change will have on their businesses. As the Government’s functional lead on procurement, MBIE is actively working with many agencies to leverage government as a unique opportunity to achieve broader cultural, economic, environmental and social outcomes for Aotearoa New Zealand.

Our work towards a low-carbon economy includes our advice on wider ecology matters and assisting businesses in dealing with climate change. An example of our advice relates to the review of the Plant Variety Rights Act 1987, which provides intellectual property rights to plant breeders over new varieties they have developed (e.g. disease resistant crops and new variety of fruit). A focus of our collaborative work was the significance of protecting kaitiaki interests in indigenous plants consistent with Te Tiriti o Waitangi/the Treaty of Waitangi along with meeting international trade obligations under the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement on Trans-Pacific partnership. To make climate action easy for small businesses, especially in reducing their carbon emissions, we collaborated with others in the public and private sector to develop the Climate Action Toolbox.

We are responsible for seeing that businesses and residents have access to secure, affordable and environmentally responsible energy. An example of our reach is our proposed changes to make Kiwi homes more energy efficient as part of the consultation on the Building Code and selected documents. The annual consultation aims to ensure the Building Code and its documents are up to date and keep pace with modern construction methods. It also provides an opportunity for the public and the building and construction sector to have their say on the proposed changes. The 2021 proposed changes aim to make homes and buildings warmer, drier and healthier, with less impact on our environment, while also bringing New Zealand more in line with international standards.

What we’re working towards

Performance measure Indicator Current trend Desired trend Commentary
Reduce net greenhouse gas emissions (using levers that MBIE has available) Net greenhouse gas emissions Steady
Aotearoa New Zealand’s net greenhouse gas emissions (including those from the land use, land-use change and forestry sector) was 54,893 kilotons (kt) carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e) in 2019. While this is a small increase since 2018 (53,822 kt), the five-year average of 54,036 kt is the same as it was in 2018.
Increase sustainability of New Zealand’s energy system Percentage of total primary energy supply (TPES) coming from renewables Steady
The percentage of TPES from renewable energy sources (including hydro, wind, geothermal, solar, woody biomass, biogas and liquid biofuels) was 40% in 2020, similar to 39% in 2019. This value has been relatively steady in recent years, fluctuating around 39% from 2013 onwards.
Increase efficiency of New Zealand’s energy system Energy intensity (based on mega joules per dollar of GDP in real 2009/10 prices) Decrease
Energy intensity was 2.24 mega joules used per dollar of GDP (in real 2009/10 prices) in the year to March 2020, continuing a long downward trend.