New Zealand commits to 2020 climate change target

  • Tim Groser
Climate Change Issues

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser has announced New Zealand has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to five per cent below 1990 levels by 2020.

“Our 2020 target is more ambitious than our Kyoto Protocol first commitment period target, compares favourably with our traditional partners’ actions and reflects New Zealand’s unique national circumstances,” says Mr Groser.

“The target is affordable and demonstrates that New Zealand is doing its fair share to address global climate change. In deciding this target, the Government has carefully balanced the cost to New Zealand households and businesses against taking ambitious action to tackle climate change.

“This is an unconditional target to take responsibility for our emissions, and gives certainty to domestic stakeholders.”

New Zealand is taking this 2020 target under the UN Framework Convention (the Kyoto Protocol’s parent body) rather than the Kyoto Protocol itself. This means New Zealand is taking a target alongside developed and developing countries that are collectively responsible for more than 70 per cent of global emissions.

“It’s important to remember that we’re working towards a binding agreement under the Convention that, from 2020, will apply to all Parties.

“Taking this 2020 target allows us to take action in the interim, while the shape of this new agreement is being determined. It also gives us the flexibility to begin our transition to the new agreement’s rules ahead of time,” Mr Groser says.