Zero Carbon Bill 'not just about farmers' - James Shaw

James Shaw says the Zero Carbon Bill is about more than just farmers, as criticism from the rural sector grows.

The Zero Carbon Bill, introduced on Wednesday, sets out separate targets for methane and carbon, aiming for a 10 percent reduction of biogenic methane by 2030. It also mandates a 24 to 47 percent reduction of methane by 2050.

Farmers lashed out at the proposals, labelling them "frustratingly cruel" and complaining lowering emissions that far requires technology that does not exist yet.

But Shaw told Newshub Nation on Saturday every industry is going to have to change their processes under the Bill.

"You've got industries like the steel mill for example, they've got to get down to net zero, currently the technology does not exist for them to be able to do that too.

"The whole point of this is that over the course of the coming 30 years you've got to see billions of dollars of investment and development, new industries, new technologies and so on.

"And it's not just about farmers, it's about all of us, it's got to affect steel, aluminium, cement, transport - virtually every part of the economy has got to see some shift."

One area Shaw has gone on the record to say will see major change is transport, but he's not yet to be able to say what kind of incentives will be used to get Kiwis into electric vehicles (EVs).

He said that was a let-down, but there are some on the way soon.

"This has been disappointing for me, I was hoping we'd be able to move sooner on that, there are some peculiarities to do with the structure of the New Zealand vehicle market."

Shaw pointed out Norway as an example, which has managed to significantly increase the number of electric vehicles on the road due to incentives.

"There are some complicating factors here and it has meant that it's had to take us longer."

One factor is the kind of vehicles New Zealanders tend to buy - older, cheaper and gas-guzzling imports.

Shaw told The AM Show on Thursday the Government is actively looking at what to do for EVs, but can't give a date for when it would be announced.

"I've promised dates before and I've overshot them, so I won't say that, but Government is actively looking at a package."


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