With the need for action on climate policy increasing by the day, driven in part by the growing social movement for change and the economic imperative towards accessing cheaper renewable energy, 2021 is looking like a busy year for climate initiatives.
Beginning in New Zealand, the final Climate Change Commission’s report is scheduled to be released before the end of May, where it will be presented to Parliament who will begin discussion and crafting of legislation to meet targets that New Zealand has committed to.
Given the limited reductions that can be made in carbon emissions in the agricultural sector, the heavy lifting needs to come in the other areas of highest emission – transport and energy. Most notably, the widespread adoption of electric vehicles will be atop the agenda, given 40% of long-lived gas emissions in NZ are from transport and the bulk of them from cars and light vehicles.
Elsewhere, in November, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, also known as COP26, is scheduled to be held in Glasgow. This meeting could be a watershed moment for climate policy as nations attempt to accelerate the commitments made under the Paris Agreement.
The UN member countries will reveal where they stand on the climate policy, with the US being a big player given it will be the first time it has been involved in multilateral climate discussion in around five years. We can expect significant commitments, not just from governments, but from the private sector given the heightened regulatory environment.