IPCC report shows need for global agreement on emissionsClimate Change Issues
Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser says the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change emphasises the need for a truly global agreement in 2015 to ensure efforts to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) are effective.
The IPCC Working Group III report on the mitigation of climate change was released on Sunday 13 April. It says deep cuts in GHG emissions remain possible but there are significant challenges.
“The IPCC report identifies that effective climate change mitigation requires international co-operation. That tells me New Zealand is on the right track in pressing for a binding international agreement on emissions beyond 2020 that is genuinely global in its scope and flexible, catering for countries’ individual circumstances and allowing them to play to their strengths,” Mr Groser says.
“New Zealand is doing its fair share on climate change, taking into account our unique national circumstances, both to restrict our own emissions and support the global efforts needed to make the cuts that will limit warming.
“We are leading international research into reducing agricultural emissions, which are a significant contributor to total global emissions. We are working with other countries in the Asia Pacific on the development of international carbon markets, and we are helping vulnerable Pacific neighbours adapt to climate change and mitigate its impacts, with more than $80 million pledged over the next three years.
“We are making inroads that will gradually restrict our own emissions. We are a country with a growing population, yet the emissions intensity of our economy has decreased by more than one quarter since 1990. At the same time agriculture GDP increased 48 per cent, while emissions only went up by 12 per cent. That means farmers have been producing more meat and milk for export, with fewer greenhouse gas emissions per kilo. New Zealand is also significantly ahead of most countries in limiting energy sector emissions, as our electricity supply is mostly renewable and we are heading towards a 90% renewable system by 2025.
“New Zealand has made an unconditional commitment to take responsibility for our own emissions, with a target of 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2020. This target is comparable with the targets of many other developed countries,” says Mr Groser.