Emissions reduction targets and budgets

The Climate Change Response Act sets a target of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. It also requires the creation of emissions budgets, which are interim emission reduction targets that step toward the 2050 target and have to be met through domestic action alone.

The ERP sets out how New Zealand will meet its first emissions budget, covering 2022-2025. This budget limits our emissions to 290 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent between now and 2025. The ERP also sets a path for meeting our long-term emission reduction targets.

Read the ERP on the Ministry for the Environment’s website(external link).

See the Climate Change Response Act(external link)

Impact on housing and urban development

The ERP will have wide-reaching implications for housing and urban development in New Zealand. It signals significant shifts in the transport, building and construction, and planning and infrastructure sectors.


For transport, the plan includes a focus on reducing reliance on cars and delivering considerable change in walking, cycling and public transport. The aim is to reduce vehicle kilometres travelled by the light vehicle fleet by 20% by 2035. The plan signals changes to the way we fund and invest in infrastructure. These actions can support wider Government objectives like housing affordability and liveability.

Building and construction

Building and construction plans include a focus on improving the energy efficiency of new buildings and reducing the whole-of-life embodied carbon of buildings. The plan also proposes actions to enable Māori representation within the building and construction sector. These actions can also help improve the quality of new homes.

Planning and infrastructure

Planning and infrastructure actions support a shift towards planning and building low-emission urban areas; characterised by more mixed use, and medium and high-density development, with good access to jobs, amenities and services, and well connected by active and public transport. Resource Management reform will be key to making this happen.

Our ERP work

Te Tūāpapa Kura Kāinga – Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) contributed to the ERP, focusing on policies that help the housing and urban development sector reduce emissions and ensuring that proposals in the plan support our broader objective of thriving communities where everyone has a place to call home.

HUD is a joint lead agency for the following actions in the ERP:

  • supporting emissions reductions and climate resilience through policy, guidelines, direction and partnerships on housing and urban development
  • addressing infrastructure funding and financing challenges
  • improving the evidence base and tools for understanding and assessing urban development and infrastructure emissions
  • identifying ways to support the private sector to deliver lower emissions development.

Other climate work

The ERP focuses on reducing emissions, but we also need to adapt to climate impacts that are already happen. These are addressed in the National Adaptation Plan.

See the National adaptation plan