Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw says the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) confirms New Zealand needs an urgent plan to cut emissions.
The report notes that 83% of net growth in greenhouse gases since 2010 has occurred in Asia and the Pacific – and that New Zealand, Australia and Japan, as a group, had some of the highest rates of GHG emissions per capita in 2019.
“The latest insights from the IPCC are clear and the case for action couldn’t be any stronger or more urgent,” Minister Shaw (pictured) said.
“As a country that relies on our environment for so much, addressing climate change isn’t a nice to have, it’s essential.”
He said the Government’s Emissions Reduction Plan – due to be published next month – will set out how emissions will be reduced across every sector of the economy.
“Over the last four years the Government has taken more climate action than in the previous three decades combined. And those actions have lowered the future trajectory of our emissions, but we must go further to get us on the path to net-zero,” said Mr Shaw.
The IPCC report – which focuses on the prevention of further warming – says both domestic action and international co-operation are essential to reduce emissions and prevent a “catastrophic” increase in global temperature.
“The severity with which we will experience climate change can be lessened if we do all we can, right now, to limit warming.”
“The challenge ahead may feel daunting, but the report also highlights a number of effective and innovative ways we can lower emissions and limit the effects of climate change. And that is exactly what our Emissions Reduction Plan will do at a national level.
“Our climate targets are not optional, they are critical – the Emissions Reduction Plan will set out how we are going to achieve them, and what we must all do to make it happen.
“There are those who will try and tell you, when it comes to climate change, New Zealand is too small to be counted – this report should well and truly dispel us of that notion. We are part of the problem and we must be part of the solution,” the Minister said.
New Zealanders will also be asked this month how the country can adapt to the climate change that is already unavoidable through the release of the draft National Adaptation Plan for consultation.