The Government is likely to set a target of a 15% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, says Prime Minister John Key.
A round of public consultation on what the target should be has just been completed, with environmental groups pushing for a 40% reduction.
The target will be tabled at the next round of international climate change negotiations in Germany in August.
Mr Key says Climate Change Minister Nick Smith will present his recommendation to Cabinet in the coming weeks.
He says the target will not be 40% because such a target would cripple New Zealand's economic activity and the country "cannot afford to write that cheque".
Mr Key says the OECD average is 15%. Australia's target is 14% and New Zealand is likely to set a similar target.
A decision on the target is due on 10 August.