The National Government’s paltry emissions reduction target announced today means that New Zealand is not pulling its weight internationally when it comes to climate change, the Green Party said.
The Government announced a 2030 emissions reduction target of 30 percent off 2005 levels. This translates to an 11 percent reduction on 1990 levels.
“By committing to such a small reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, it means other countries will have to pick up our slack, or we’ll get runaway climate change,” said Green Party international climate negotiations spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.
“Our fair share is at least a 40 percent reduction on 1990 levels, and the Government’s target is not even close.
“If all countries followed New Zealand’s lead, catastrophic climate change would be the result.
“Using 2005 as a benchmark is pure spin; the target is a paltry 11 percent reduction on 1990 levels, which is the usual benchmark for emission reductions.
“New Zealand can do so much better.
“National is missing this opportunity to implement policies that are good for people and the climate.
“We have no choice but to transition to a low-carbon economy, but National will increase the cost of this transition by delaying.
“The Green Party has extended the invitation to start a genuine dialogue on climate policy with the Government, and what might be required in the next few years to bring New Zealand out of the ranks of laggards and into the ranks of leaders, on climate policy.
“New Zealanders, now and in the future, deserve a climate plan we can be proud of,” said Dr Graham.