Climate Change Commission chair says Aotearoa cannot plant its way to net-zero by 2050

Climate Change Commission chair Rod Carr says Aotearoa will not meet net-zero by 2050 "and beyond" if we continue to rely on tree planting. 

The Climate Change Commission released a damning review of the country's game plan to hit net-zero carbon by 2050. 

The 200-page report includes draft advice on how to get there - including investment in renewable energy generation and money to help farmers transition to greener practices. 

The Government's being warned an overhaul of its climate policy is desperately needed. 

Carr told AM Aotearoa currently has a net target for emissions, but says the "trouble" is incentives encourage planting trees instead of rewarding reductions in gross emissions.

"The Commission's conclusion is that we won't be able to keep doing that and meet our requirements to be net-zero by 2050 and beyond," he said.

"There are significant risks in this pathway and on grounds of equity and intergenerational fairness, this is not fair on future New Zealanders."

He said productive land is being "locked up" to store carbon from emissions Kiwis produce on a day to day.

Carr told AM forests are good and play a part in Aotearoa's culture, society and economy but shouldn't be used to "intensively" sequester carbon so more emissions can be emitted for longer. 

"[It's] denying New Zealanders the opportunities that come from producing low emissions products and services to serve the world and from the benefits from living in a low emission society."

Watch the full interview above.