New Zealand will commit to a new, more ambitious climate change
target, Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser announced
"This target is to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per
cent below 2005 levels by 2030," Mr Groser said. "This is a
significant increase on our current target of five per cent below
1990 emission levels by 2020."
New Zealand will submit the target to the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change. All countries are expected
to table targets as part of work towards a new climate change
agreement, due to be concluded in Paris in December.
"While New Zealand's emissions are small on a global scale, we
are keen to make a fair and ambitious contribution to the
international effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and avoid
the most harmful effects of climate change," Mr Groser said.
"Almost 80% of our electricity is renewable already, and around
half our emissions come from producing food for which there aren't
yet cost-effective technologies to reduce emissions. So there are
fewer opportunities for New Zealand to reduce its emissions right
"However, I'm optimistic about the future - our investment in
agricultural research is beginning to bear fruit and the cost of
electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles continues to fall. I think in
5-10 years we'll be in a good position to reduce our emissions in
both agriculture and transport.
"In setting the new target, the Government needed to ensure it
was achievable and to avoid imposing unfair costs on any particular
sector or group of people.
"We appreciate input given via public meetings, hui and
submissions. Around 1,700 people attended meetings and over
15,000 people and organisations made written submissions. These
were analysed and taken into account as the Government considered
the most appropriate target to set, given our unique national
circumstances," Mr Groser said.
"New Zealand's target is equivalent to a reduction of 11 per
cent below our 1990 emission levels by 2030. Our target is
expressed against 2005 emission levels similar to the approach of
other significant players including the United States and Canada,"
Mr Groser said.
"The target will remain provisional until we ratify the new
international agreement. The detailed rules and guidelines for
national reduction targets are likely to be set after the Paris
meeting. These will cover matters such as the rules on accounting
for the land sector, and ensuring international carbon markets meet
high standards of environmental integrity."
"The Government will adopt an appropriate mix of policies to
ensure the target is met. In particular, we will begin a review of
the Emissions Trading Scheme this year, which will include scope
for further public discussion on what New Zealand will do
domestically." Mr Groser said.
For more information see: http://www.mfe.govt.nz/node/20725/