Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand

  • Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern
Prime Minister Climate Change

The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally.

Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – none more so than in our environment. For New Zealand and the Netherlands, taking decisive and ambitious action on climate change is a priority and we are committed to embracing this challenge, while building a productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that improves living standards and wellbeing.

Climate change is a challenge we all face. The Netherlands and New Zealand recognise the severe implications for international security and stability posed by climate change, and are determined to help raise global ambition, including through enhanced Nationally Determined Contributions, and accelerate climate action. We are committed to supporting the global effort to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and to ensuring just transitions to low-emissions and climate resilient economies.

We recognise this effort is important to all of us, particularly to the most vulnerable groups and regions, including New Zealand’s South Pacific neighbours and the Caribbean islands in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. We also recognise that half of the Netherlands’ population live at or below sea level.

We are both committed to creating a long term vision for transforming our economies and providing certainty for investors of the transition towards climate-neutral futures. The Netherlands has set ambitious national targets for 2030 and 2050 in a national Climate Act and a National Climate Agreement. Together, the Act and the Agreement set the country on a path towards climate neutrality. Within the EU, the Netherlands advocates reaching agreement on achieving climate neutrality by 2050. New Zealand has introduced the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill to create enduring institutions and frameworks to support a successful long-term transition to a low emissions economy.

As members of the Carbon Neutrality Coalition, New Zealand and the Netherlands agree to share our experiences and lessons learned on supporting our communities and economies in climate action and collectively reach out to other countries to commit to carbon neutrality and to submit long term strategies that ensure that collectively we limit the global temperature increase to 1.5°C. As members of the High Ambition Coalition, New Zealand and the Netherlands will work to encourage others to enhance their Nationally Determined Contributions by 2020 to boost ambition and represent the highest possible level of ambition.

Our countries share a strong agricultural tradition. We acknowledge our farming communities as pillars in our economies. We also acknowledge the strong commitment from our governments and farming leadership to cooperate to tackle climate change.

Both of our countries also have a strong tradition of innovation and ingenuity. We are both global players in innovation for sustainable agriculture. Domestically we are each leading cutting-edge research into how methane and other greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture can be reduced, adapt to and mitigate climate change, including around circular agriculture.

Internationally, we are already strong collaborators in the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases (GRA) but we want to work harder, smarter, and faster. We remain committed to the GRA’s mission of bringing countries together to find ways to grow more food, without growing greenhouse gas emissions. We acknowledge the importance of continuing to expand the membership of the GRA, advancing its research agenda, including around resource efficiency, and building capability in developing countries, including through our joint support of GRA Flagship Projects, scholarship programmes and relevant international research collaborations.

We acknowledge the strong academic and research cooperation between Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands and Massey University, and the new Cooperation Action Plan including a New Zealand liaison officer in Wageningen. We encourage further bilateral collaboration between our academic institutions.

We agree to exchange ideas and work together on the agricultural sector’s contribution to climate change responses. We will cooperate and innovate in the agricultural-food and agricultural-technology sectors.  In this context, we welcome the announcement of a strategic partnership between New Zealand’s Food HQ and the Netherlands’ Food Valley to work together to support our respective food industries in furthering our ambitions in sustainable food production.

We also welcome the intention of the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries and the Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority of the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality, to further enhance their existing relationship by establishing technical collaboration on risk assessment, risk management and risk communication in the field of feed and food safety.

Our countries are committed to enhancing support and cooperation on adaptation efforts. We welcome the joint cooperation between the Thames-Coromandel district council and the Dutch Royal Haskoning DHV in supporting the delivery of the Shoreline Management Plans.

New Zealand cities, Christchurch and Wellington, and Dutch cities, Rotterdam and The Hague, are part of the 100 Resilient Cities network. This network is dedicated to helping cities around the world become more resilient to physical, social and economic challenges. Bilateral exchanges between Dutch and New Zealand cities, including Amsterdam, focus in particular on sharing knowledge and innovative approaches related to integrated urban water management as well as climate change mitigation and adaptation in the urban environment and we would welcome further exchanges.

Our countries support the phase out of fossil fuel subsidies which encourage wasteful consumption, disadvantage renewable energy, and depress investment in energy efficiency.  We recognise that reform of these subsidies will contribute to the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperatures below 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels.

We further recognise that reform of fossil fuel subsidies will free up financing for sustainable development and deliver trade, economic, social and environmental benefits. The Netherlands and New Zealand are both committed to explore the potential contribution of clean hydrogen to the energy transition, in particular to help decarbonise the hard-to-abate sectors like industry and heavy-duty transport, and provide long-term energy storage. We will exchange relevant information and best practices on the progress made.

We acknowledge the many synergies and shared objectives between the Netherlands’ New Energy Coalition (NEC) and New Zealand’s National New Energy Development Centre (NNEDC) to be established in Taranaki.  We welcome the intention for the NEC and NNEDC to collaborate in future to share knowledge, expertise and best practice, and explore the development of specific projects to foster uptake of new energy technology and resources, including hydrogen.

New Zealand and the Netherlands recognise that cooperation between countries through carbon markets can contribute to enhancing ambition of climate change targets, beyond available domestic emissions reductions.  We are committed to environmental integrity, transparency and the avoidance of double counting when market mechanisms are used for national and international mitigation objectives, to ensure that use of these mechanisms contributes to a decrease in global emissions.

We stand firmly behind the Paris Agreement affirmations of the importance of financial support for developing countries, including support for technology transfer and capacity building.