New Zealand will continue to showcase ambitious climate action

With the global climate change talks closing overnight, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said New Zealand will continue to show the world what meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like.

“Lasting action on climate change demands that we keep working every single day. This is the only way we can keep our promise to future generations that we will leave behind a world that is better off for what we did,” James Shaw said.

As the head of the New Zealand delegation at the global climate talks, Minister Shaw shared the progress this Government is making to build a cleaner, safer planet for future generations. 

“I talked to people from many countries who are thinking about putting in place their own climate change legislation and they are using our Zero Carbon Act as a benchmark for what meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like. This Government will continue to show global leadership on what needs to be done to leave a safer planet for future generations,” James Shaw said.

Talks closed with countries not able to agree fully on a provision of the 2015 Paris Agreement known as Article 6. This concerns the role of carbon markets and carbon trading in helping countries to fulfil their emission cutting pledges. 

“We should acknowledge that some important progress was made, which is positive. But unfortunately we will have to wait another year to get it all sorted. I have been frustrated that there are some countries who are slowing overall global progress. This is especially frustrating at a time when everything we see happening around the world points to an urgent need to move further and faster. However I am reassured by the fact that the vast majority of countries are increasing their ambition,” James Shaw said.

This year’s talks were not expected to produce a major breakthrough on countries’ emissions targets, but it was hoped Article 6 could be finalised, clearing the decks for countries to focus on more ambitious goals for cuts to emissions next year.

“Let’s be clear: We are still on track towards a future where we are all playing our part to solve the challenge of climate change, but we are not going to get there unless countries are working more closely together. Carbon markets must have fair rules and ensure genuine emissions reductions, which is why getting an agreement on the rules countries should stick to has been a priority for New Zealand since the world committed to climate action in Paris in 2015,” said James Shaw. 

The 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP25) took place in Madrid.