Equitable Transitions Strategy

Achieving a low emissions Aotearoa New Zealand that is better for everyone.

Aotearoa New Zealand is working to prevent climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions. This will bring changes to how we live, work and get around. Some people and communities will be affected more than others.

The Government is developing an Equitable Transitions Strategy to make sure that our transition to a low emissions future is fair and inclusive. We want to bring everyone on this journey and leave no one behind. This means making sure opportunities work for everyone, supporting people through this period of change, and upholding Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

A diverse group of people, including young people, elderly people and disabled people, are on a pathway to a low emissions tomorrow. This future includes thriving people and communities; electric vehicles, bicycles and accessible transport; sustainable housing and marae; a farm with a range of livestock and crops; and wind turbines, solar panels and recycling stations.

The Equitable Transitions Strategy will be informed through the diverse people and communities of Aotearoa New Zealand. By working closely with different groups we can make sure that the actions we take will reflect their needs.

“What does the transition mean for me? My whānau? My community?”

“How will we support those most affected by the transition?”

“How can we bring everyone on the journey?”

The draft Strategy

Thank you to everyone who participated in one of our nationwide workshops during March 2023 or filled out our survey. We have received thoughts and feedback from a wide range of people and communities.

Since we commenced this work, Aotearoa New Zealand has experienced a series of extreme weather events and cost of living pressures. We also heard about these issues throughout the consultation early in 2023.

We are reconsidering the scope and timeline of the Strategy, which will take substantial time and work. We will provide an update regarding the release of a draft Strategy once timeframes are confirmed.

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Contact us

To get in touch with the Equitable Transitions Strategy team, email:


Information in other languages

A summary of the Equitable Transitions Strategy and how to provide thoughts and feedback in other languages are available:

Additional resources

The Ministry of Social Development has additional resources in other accessible formats here:

Equitable Transitions Strategy(external link) — Ministry of Social Development

Challenges and opportunities the Strategy will address

Our transition to a low emissions future will create challenges and opportunities. Examples include:

  • Jobs: the transition will impact jobs, such as creating well-paying jobs in new industries and a need to re-train people for low-emissions jobs
  • Household costs: costs such as petrol and electricity may become more expensive, but there are also opportunities to reduce costs, such as by making homes more energy efficient
  • Rural communities: the transition will create challenges and opportunities around land-use and changing economic activity in rural communities
  • New industries: a low emissions future will create new industries and opportunities in areas such as the bioeconomy and the circular economy
  • Fairness and accessibility: the transition presents opportunities to create a fairer Aotearoa, such as making public transport more accessible

For more information about what the transition might look like, see Chapter 8 of the Climate Change Commission's independent analysis.

Chapter summaries(external link) — He Pou a Rangi. Climate Change Commission

The content of the Strategy will be informed by engagement with the public and will include actions and policies to address challenges and seize opportunities. 

The Equitable Transitions Strategy is co-led by the:

  • Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment  Hīkina Whakatutuki
  • Ministry of Social Development  Te Manatū Whakahiato Ora.

For more information about the Equitable Transitions Strategy, see the Terms of Reference.

Government’s wider climate change work programme

The Government’s climate change work programme is focused on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to a changing climate.

What the Government is doing about climate change(external link) — Ministry for the Environment

In 2019 the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act was passed into law. The Act:

  • sets a 2050 target to reduce long-lived greenhouse gases to net zero
  • establishes the Climate Change Commission to provide expert advice and monitor progress
  • requires the Government to create an Emissions Reduction Plan to meet emission reduction targets, and a National Adaptation Plan to manage the physical risks of climate change, such as sea level rise

Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Act 2019(external link) — New Zealand Legislation

In 2021, the Climate Change Commission released its formal advice to the Government, including a recommendation to develop an Equitable Transitions Strategy.

Ināia tonu nei: a low emissions future for Aotearoa(external link) — He Pou a Rangi. Climate Change Commission

In May 2022, the Government released Aotearoa New Zealand’s first Emissions Reduction Plan (ERP). The ERP sets out a range of actions to drive Aotearoa towards a low emissions future, including a commitment to develop an Equitable Transitions Strategy (see ERP page 66-67).

Emissions Reduction Plan(external link) — Ministry for the Environment

Aotearoa has committed to a just transition

Under the Paris Agreement, the Government has agreed to ‘take into account the imperatives of a just transition of the workforce and the creation of decent work and quality jobs…’.

The concept of a ‘just transition’ is about ensuring transitions are fair and inclusive by working with affected groups to ensure that impacts and opportunities are more evenly distributed.

The Equitable Transitions Strategy is focused on Aotearoa New Zealand’s transition to a low emissions future. The Strategy will build on lessons learned through Just Transition Partnerships in Taranaki and Southland.

Find out more about Just Transition

Last updated: 21 August 2023