Clear message on clean energy at OnePlanet Summit

Climate Change Minister, James Shaw, says the message from the OnePlanet Summit on climate change in Paris is clear – invest in clean, renewable energies.

“It’s important to recognise the significance of decisions like that from the World Bank  to stop financing upstream oil and gas ventures by 2019, barring some exceptions over gas in poorest countries.

“And the Bank is to be commended for confirming that it is on track to meet its target of 28% lending to climate action by 2020,” said Mr Shaw.

Minister Shaw has also welcomed the New Zealand Superannuation Fund joining other international investors at the OnePlanet Summit to put pressure on big polluters to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.

“There is mounting pressure on big polluters to play their part in the global fight against climate change.

“A combination of divestment and focused pressure from remaining shareholders has the potential to achieve significant changes to business as usual.

“There is a sense that the tide is turning and so-called “dirty” industries understand more sustainable, climate-friendly ways of operating are in their long-term financial and social interests.

“Those who fail to understand or ignore this tide of change are likely to pay a high price, including having assets stranded in polluting business activities which are no longer attractive to investors,” said Mr Shaw.

New Zealand’s Ambassador to Paris, Jane Coombs, who attended the OnePlanet Summit on this country’s behalf was also able to confirm New Zealand as a founding member a newly formed international Zero Carbon Coalition, to be known as the “Towards Carbon Neutrality Coalition”.

Countries in the Coalition pledge to develop long-term strategies for climate neutrality and to build their resilience, in line with the Paris Agreement objective of limiting the global temperature increase to well below 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“The Coalition is a perfect fit with our goal of becoming a net zero emission economy by 2050,” Climate Change Minister James Shaw said.

“We want to showcase what we, as a small economy, can do by joining with like-minded countries leading the fight against climate change,” he said.