COP28 National Statement for New Zealand

Tēnā koutou katoa

Mr President, Excellencies, Delegates.

An island nation at the bottom of the Pacific, New Zealand is unique.         

Our geography, our mountains, lakes, winds and rainfall helps set us up for the future, allowing for nearly 90 per cent of our electricity to come from renewable sources. I’m proud to say my Government is committed to doubling the overall volume by 2050 and we’re starting work in our first 100 days in office to enable decarbonisation.

Agriculture is a cornerstone of our identity and the backbone of our economy, contributing more than 60 per cent of goods exports last year – while at the same time generating nearly 50 per cent of our overall emissions. 

But what makes us strong and unique – our geography, our people, our industries – may also make us vulnerable in the future.

Climate change is here and New Zealand certainly feels its effects. We felt it first hand in New Zealand through Cyclone Gabrielle earlier this year and record breaking floods. Widespread destruction across the North Island was devastating for our people, communities and industries. And we are bracing ourselves for more fires this summer, forecast again, to be hot and dry.

Our experiences are compounded by what the IPCC’s Sixth Assessment Report has made all too clear - the world is not on track to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. 

That’s why New Zealand remains resolutely focused on transitioning to a low-emissions future; to supporting Pacific resilience and collectively decarbonising the global economy. 

New Zealand has an ambitious NDC to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by 50 per cent below gross 2005 levels by 2030. We are committed to achieving this, and our 2050 domestic net zero target, by tackling the key drivers of emissions, and working with the private sector so they make transformative investments:

  • in resilient infrastructure; 
  • in renewable energy and cleaner low-carbon fuels; and
  • in new technologies to reduce agricultural emissions and capture carbon. 

Our NDC implementation will be grounded in high quality data, transparency, accountability and stable pricing signals. 

We will focus equally on adaptation and mitigation.  We will develop a national Climate Adaptation Framework, informed by a range of stakeholders and partners, that will guide and prepare us for future climate impacts.

We’re also committed to collaborating with our Pacific neighbours on climate change. It is the number one security threat to our region. We back the 2050 strategy for the Blue Pacific Continent and the leadership of the Pacific Islands Forum on climate action. 

We recognise that we must deliver on our collective commitment to the US $100 billion goal, and on loss and damage finance, and do it in a way that works for our partners in the Pacific. 

We have 72 months until 2030. This is the time to move from words to action. And COP28 is our moment to act. 

The first global stocktake of the Paris Agreement challenges us to get back on track.  We have work to do.  We must deliver on our commitments.

We need a course correction, and working together is critical for global prosperity in a carbon constrained future. Together we can:

  • Collaborate and partner to innovate, and develop and deploy solutions;
  • Mobilise innovative financing to derisk climate savvy investment;
  • Scale up investment in research and technology to help us sustainably reduce agricultural emissions while ensuring food security;
  • Harness our trade and economic cooperation for beneficial climate outcomes; 
  • Here, at COP28, commit to a global tripling of renewable electricity, doubling of energy efficiency and quickly and justly moving to a future where we no longer rely on fossil fuels. 

New Zealand is proud to support several important initiatives launched here at COP28:

  • The Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Targets Pledge,
  • The COP28 Declaration on Climate and Health,
  • The Emirates Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, 
  • The Mutual recognition of certification schemes for renewable and low-carbon hydrogen and derivatives pledge, and
  • The COP28 Gender-Responsive Just Transition and Climate Action Partnership pledge

We thank the UAE for hosting COP28, which has welcomed the largest number of stakeholders ever. I am joined by New Zealand’s largest business, and civil society presence at any COP. The commitment of New Zealanders from across all levels of government, the private sector, NGOs, iwi Māori, is clear. 

Thank you Mr President. 

Kia Kaha