New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25

E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates.

International action

A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to help solve the challenge of climate change. 

Progress towards that goal will not be achieved by a handful of countries like New Zealand individually stepping up to play their part.

It will happen because of countless actions taken by governments, cities, towns and local communities around the world. 

Actions that, together, can add up to a stable climate for all of us. That is the international system at work.

With the Paris Agreement soon to take effect, it is more important than ever that we agree a system of cooperation and environmental integrity worthy of the promise laid out in Article 6. 

If we can put that in place, then there is a pathway for us to raise climate ambition and lower costs, whilst engaging the private sector and spreading finance, technology and expertise into new areas.

Standing with the Pacific

Pacific nations are among those most at risk from climate change and among those with the least resources to adapt.

Rising sea levels, ocean acidification and catastrophic cyclones are just some of the consequences threatening Pacific peoples’ livelihoods and ability to provide for their families.

The Paris Agreement’s commitment to seek to limit global temperature increases to 1.5˚C is of utmost importance to all nations, but for many of our Pacific neighbours its importance is existential.

Like any family we have a responsibility to look out for one another. At least two thirds of New Zealand’s $300 million of climate related support between 2019 and 2022 will be provided to Pacific nations.

And we are proud to welcome Tokelau as a valued part of our delegation here in Madrid. Ulu tonu mai. 

New Zealand’s Climate Action

Five weeks ago, we passed through Parliament, with bipartisan support, legislation committing ourselves – and all future governments – to significant domestic greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Our Zero Carbon Act enshrines the 1.5˚C temperature threshold into primary legislation.

It establishes a system of emissions budgets that will act as stepping stones towards a long-term target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. 

We have also introduced specific measures to drive down our climate damaging emissions – including reform of our Emissions Trading Scheme; billions of dollars of investment in rail, buses, cycling and walking infrastructure; and the planting of one billion trees.

Internationally, we continue to advocate for fossil fuel subsidies reform. And we have contributed $15 million over four years to the first replenishment of the Green Climate Fund, a five-fold increase over our previous contribution.

Conclusion

We know that lasting action on climate change demands that we keep working every single day.

For this is the only way we can keep our promise to you - that we will leave behind a world that is better off for what we did. 

No reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa.