Saturday, April 13, 2024

Climate change efforts paying off says Minister

Climate Change Minister, James Shaw has welcomed New Zealand’s latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report, which showed that gross emissions declined by 0.7% in 2021.

He says the result shows that the Government’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are working.

The 2021 figures showed that nationally emissions dropped to 76.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent, following a 3% decline in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It is good to see that Government action is starting to reduce our climate emissions. We just need more of it,” Mr Shaw said.

He said one of the reasons emissions fell in 2021 was the change in land-use driven by the Government’s freshwater reforms.

“What this shows is that government action works. It would also suggest that we will start to see further reductions as the impact of other policies start to show up in the inventory. This is particularly true of the policies included in the Emissions Reduction Plan we released last year.”

“Because official emissions data takes over 12 months to prepare, it is always running behind where we currently are. As such we are yet to see the impact of more recent policies such as the Clean Vehicle Discount scheme, introduced in mid-2021, which has helped to push up electric vehicle sales across Aotearoa, and the Clean Car Standard, which encourages more low-emission imports.

“Early indications are positive, however. Recent quarterly data from Stats NZ shows that emissions declined by 3.5% in the three months to September 2022, their lowest level in eight years.

“A few weeks ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its starkest warning yet that there are only a few years left to take the necessary action to limit warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

“While today’s data shows we are taking the right steps, to get where we need to be the steps will need to keep getting bigger,” said the Minister.

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