Jacinda being fabulous again


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‘Critical we pull our weight’: Ardern commits NZ to halve emissions by 2030

New Zealand aims to tackle climate change by halving its net greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw announced the new goal in a statement on Sunday – a day before the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) would begin in Glasgow.

The pledge is the Government’s new Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the global push to lower emissions, and is made under the framework first hammered out in the Paris Agreement.

It is significantly higher than the target set by the National Government in 2015. The country initially pledged to cut emissions by 39 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030. But in January, the Climate Change Commission found that the pledge needed to be higher and Ardern previously said the Government would submit a tougher target.

2005 emissions are similar to current emissions, so a 50 per cent reduction on 2005 levels needs a 48 per cent reduction on current levels.
“To stand a chance of limiting global warming to 1.5C, the science shows we now have about eight years left to almost halve global greenhouse gas emissions,” Shaw said.
“That’s eight years for countries to make the necessary plans, put in place policies, implement them, and ultimately deliver the cut.”

Official advice suggests that the target is the limit of what is feasible before 2030, Shaw said.

But a complex accounting trick has some climate groups criticising the target as too low.

Two-thirds of the reduction could come from purchasing offshore climate offsets or other global reductions New Zealand purchases, rather than a domestic cut.

As it is a “net” target it will take into account things like forestry offsets that take carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, meaning the overall gross emissions will likely not reduce by as much as 50 per cent. And despite being a net target, it’s a 50 per cent reduction on gross emissions from 2005.