The Climate Commission’s expertise will help the Government to set targets and make plans. The Commission will provide evidence-based advice and prevent New Zealand’s long-term climate strategy from being trumped by political short-termism.

The Climate Commission

The Zero Carbon Act will establish an independent Climate Commission with expertise in a range of areas, including climate science, technology, and agriculture. The Commission’s expertise will help the Government achieve the purposes of the Zero Carbon Act in a fair and cost-effective way.

Providing expert advice

The Climate Commission has two main functions. The first is advisory. The Commission must provide non-binding advice to the Government on the following issues:

  • Driving the zero carbon transition: The Climate Commission will provide advice about long-term targets, carbon budgets, and other issues.
  • Safely adapting to climate change: The Climate Commission will also provide advice about the effects of New Zealand’s changing climate, to help the Government to prepare National Climate Risk Assessments and Adaptation Programmes.

Independent watchdog

The Climate Commission’s other main function is to hold the Government to account by reporting on progress and highlighting problems. The Commission must publish annual reports about whether or not the Government is on track to meet future carbon budgets. The Minister must respond to these reports. The Commission’s watchdog role is an important part of the Zero Carbon Act’s accountability and transparency framework.