Motu Note #23

New Zealand's Low Emission Future: Transformational Pathways

Note overview

What we do matters   
   The choices we make today   
      Safeguard our future

From May 2014 through February 2016, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research convened a group of about 20 cross-sector stakeholders to explore pathways to achieving zero net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in New Zealand. Participants engaged in their personal capacity, not as organisational or sector representatives. This document presents a synthesis of ideas that emerged during the course of nine meetings. This is the first in a series of outputs from the Dialogue process.

The group’s work suggests that a successful zero-net-emission economy lies within New Zealand’s reach, and any number of pathways could take us there. New Zealand’s strategic approach to the low-emission transition should be adaptive, enabling us to manage risks and capitalise on new opportunities as they emerge. 

zero net emission vision

This document presents ideas for a new climate change narrative for New Zealand, explores pathways for sectoral transformation, and identifies options for stakeholder engagement and collaborative decision making on climate change policy and action. Instead of presenting recommendations, this work is intended to challenge New Zealanders to think in new ways about what could become possible. We hope this work will stimulate broader national conversations about the choices that lie ahead for New Zealand and create useful frameworks for the kinds of actions by government, businesses, and communities that could shift us from incremental to transformational change.

A more detailed "idea bank" for transitional pathways can be found here.


Aotearoa Foundation, Meridian Energy, Z Energy, Ministry for the Environment, Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment