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Matt Burgess

Research Fellow

Matt Burgess is a Research Fellow. He was Senior Economic Advisor to the Minister of Finance, Chief Executive of iPredict, and a Senior Associate at consultants Charles River Associates.

He has a Master of Commerce in economics with first class honours from the University of Canterbury and a Bachelor of Commerce in economics and mathematics.

Latest reports:
Real action, not empty words: How to make the Zero Carbon Bill about cutting emissions (2019)
Research Note - When the facts change: How the ICCC saved New Zealand from a policy disaster (2019)
Switched on! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future (2019)

 

Phone: +64 4 499 0790

Email: info@nzinitiative.org.nz

Recent Work

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Real action, not empty words: How to make the Zero Carbon Bill about cutting emissions

New Zealand could be a leader in global emissions reduction. We could lower global emissions by far more than we contribute. We could achieve net zero emissions sooner than 2050. We must simply be prepared to do what works by partnering with or funding the best sources of emissions reduction and removals wherever they are in the world. That might be re-planting the Amazon, capturing carbon in British Colombia, building solar farms in outback Australia, or planting trees in Northland. Read more

Matt Burgess
6 November, 2019
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Greta is right

Two developments this week on the Government’s flagship Zero Carbon Bill. First, Parliament’s Environment Committee sent its report recommending changes back to the House, having waded through more than 10,000 public submissions.Second, the Government announced it will rush the Bill through its second and third readings before the Prime Minister flies out to Chile on 14 November to attend APEC.Put another way, the deadline for passing a Bill that will guide New Zealand emissions reduction for the next 30 years,... Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
25 October, 2019
employment

Job application

Dear Minister of Finance, I am writing to apply for the position of Lead Economic Advisor to the Government, a position held by The Treasury since the 1940s. Please find enclosed my CV with references. I feel I can really add value in this role. I am a fast learner, a team player, and I have strong skills in Microsoft Excel with more than 18 months of experience. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
26 July, 2019
Windmill2

A good decision

Lost in the government’s response to the Interim Climate Change Committee this week was the decision to put on ice its 100% renewable electricity policy to focus on other more effective measures. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
19 July, 2019
Windmill new

The power of quantifying emissions policies

It has been four weeks since the Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) delivered to Minister James Shaw its analysis of the government’s 100% renewable electricity policy. If reports from a conference presentation given by the committee’s chair in April are correct, the results are not kind to the government’s commitment. The ICCC’s analysis seems to suggest the policy will substantially increase the retail price of electricity – by 14% for households and by 39% for industry. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
31 May, 2019
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Matt Burgess discusses the Government's 100% renewables policy on TVNZ Breakfast

The Interim Climate Change Committee (ICCC) will present its report to Government on transitioning New Zealand to 100% renewable electricity by 2035 this month.Research Fellow Matt Burgess is the author of our recent research report Switched On! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future. He says that New Zealand is well placed to increase the share of renewable electricity from its current level of 83% to 95% over the next 20 years even without further government intervention.However, the report... Read more

Matt Burgess
TVNZ Breakfast
1 May, 2019
Solar

If you want to cut emissions, make polluters pay

When governments want to reduce emissions, they have a choice between using policy or price. Policy includes rules – for example, 100% of electricity must be generated from renewables – as well as incentive payments, such as electric vehicle subsidies. Alternatively, governments can price carbon using cap-and-trade, or tax carbon directly. The fact that emissions occur in millions of places in the economy strongly affects the relative performance of policy and price. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
29 March, 2019
Cover Switched on2

Switched on! Achieving a green, affordable and reliable energy future

The coalition government has committed New Zealand to a goal of generating 100% of its electricity from renewable energy by 2035.Renewables already account for 83% of our electricity, and on current trends will generate up to 97% of our electricity in 2035 without any help from policy changes.However, as Matt Burgess shows in this report, the last 3% through to 100% renewables share will be tremendously expensive, and could raise greenhouse gas emissions.New Zealand’s electricity is secure, affordable and among... Read more

Matt Burgess
28 March, 2019
Rocket

Destroying the town to save it

Question: What costs three moon programs, puts nobody in space, and makes no difference to emissions? Answer: Energiewende (or energy turnaround), Angela Merkel’s plan to cut Germany’s emissions. Energiewende aims to make Germany the first industrial economy to fully run on renewable energy. The cost so far: 29,000 wind turbines and 1.6 million solar panels for the bargain price of €500 billion. Yes, half a trillion euro. Read more

Matt Burgess
Insights Newsletter
23 November, 2018

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