New Zealand National Statement – COP27

Climate Change

Tēnā koutou katoa.

Mr President, Excellencies, Delegates.

This 27th Conference of the Parties is being referred to as the Implementation COP.

The Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC asked us at the start of this Conference to show evidence of how we have started to implement the decisions that we collectively made in Glasgow this time last year.

Under Article 2.1.a. of the Paris Agreement on Mitigation, since Glasgow, we have set in law a set of emissions budgets from now until 2035.

To meet those emissions budgets, we have published our first Emissions Reduction Plan, covering every sector of the economy.

We have started set aside US $3 billion of revenue from our cap-and-trade scheme to recycle into the transition to a net-zero future.

Some of that revenue we are co-investing with private enterprise to bring forward large scale capital investments to decarbonise industry and energy.

Some of that revenue we have dedicated to reducing methane and nitrous oxide emissions from the farming sector.

We have introduced vehicle emissions standards and incentives. As a result, electric vehicle sales have risen from 1% of all new cars sold five years ago, to 5% of all new cars sold a year ago, to now 30% of all new cars sold in the last few months.

Under Article 2.1.b of the Paris Agreement on Adaptation, since Glasgow, we have published our first National Adaptation Plan.

This National Adaptation Plan outlines how we will support our communities to become more resilient to the droughts, floods, fires and storms that we are already experiencing as a result of the 1.1 degrees of warming that has already occurred.

Under Article 2.1.c. of the Paris Agreement on Finance, since Glasgow, we have passed a law requiring climate related financial disclosures from large listed companies and financial institutions, in line with the recommendations of the Taskforce on Climate Related Financial Disclosures.

This morning we issued the first US $2 billion of Green Bonds to support our investment in the low carbon infrastructure we’ll need to support the transition to our next zero future.

Mr President, across the world, the response to the climate crisis must be inclusive of and supportive of indigenous peoples’ leadership.

I arrive at COP27 with work underway to support an indigenous framework for climate action that will be led by our indigenous Māori people, by Māori and for Māori .

But, Mr President, we are running out of time.

Do we want a world defined by the ravages of climate change?

Or do we want a world that is cleaner, fairer, safer, and much more productive than it is today?

It seems such a simple choice. And yet still we cling to outdated thinking and practices.

Still we cling to the fossil-fueled world of the past. The latest report shows that our collective commitments only add up to a 2.4 degree world.

Go and ask a young person what they think of that choice – what they think about the future we are preparing for them.

And brace yourself for the answer. Because they know, as do we, that a better world is possible.

They know we have the means at our disposal to create it.

They know that all that we lack is the political will to make it happen.

It’s time we heard that call. It’s time we moved to protect the climate at a speed, scale and urgency equal to the crisis itself.

Aotearoa New Zealand is committed to bold, enduring action in the fight against climate change.

Because in our region – the blue Pacific – climate change is an existential challenge. 

In our region, 1.5 degrees is critical. This COP27 must re-affirm our commitment to 1.5, to Paris and to the decisions we made in Glasgow.

In our region, without adequate mitigation, we will not be able to adapt. And the losses and damages will be overwhelming and existential.

This COP must make progress on how we collectively manage loss and damage.

As ever, it will be the most vulnerable who will be the worst affected.

We cannot stand by and knowingly, willingly allow that to happen.

Tackling climate change is a once in a generation opportunity to build a future that is more equitable, more prosperous, and more innovative – and all within planetary limits.

But it is only through collective action and shared commitments that we will rise to the challenge and take that opportunity.

So let’s get to it.

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