New Zealand and California have signed a cooperation deal on climate change, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced in San Francisco on Saturday.
The Memorandum of Cooperation, signed during a meeting with California Governor, Gavin Newsom, will facilitate the sharing of information, experiences and research in reducing emissions as well as working together on projects that are good for the climate, the Prime Minister said.
“Taking action on climate will secure our environment and our economy, so it makes sense to partner with allies in this shared problem,” Ms Ardern said.
“We both aim to achieve net zero carbon emissions by the middle of the century. This agreement means we’ll work together to share expertise and experience and collaborate on projects that help meet each other’s targets.”
As the fifth largest economy in the world, California will be a significant player in the global low-emissions transition and an important partner in New Zealand’s efforts, the Prime Minister said.
“We each have comparable broad-based plans to emissions reduction, and know it will take every sectors of our economies playing their part.”
“As a result we both have ambitious policies for zero-emission transportation on land and sea, energy innovation, clean power generation, nature-based solutions and zero waste initiatives.
“The agreement provides a framework for cooperation across a range of sectors including on zero emissions vehicles, energy storage and smart grids, emissions trading schemes, and climate smart agriculture,” she said.
Transport is California’s largest source of emissions and New Zealand’s second largest, so this is an area where there is the potential for real gains from cooperation, said Ms Ardern.
“Likewise agriculture plays a significant role in each of our economies and emissions profiles. Gains here can be both good for business and the planet.”
“No country is immune from the impacts of climate changes, so it’s just common sense to collaborate with likeminded partners to meet mutual goals,” she said.
This month, Aotearoa New Zealand launched its first Emissions Reduction Plan – a blueprint for a climate-friendly future.
“International engagement, like this agreement with California, will play a key role in driving domestic decarbonisation and achieving our climate targets,” said Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw.
“Just as New Zealand will need access to new technologies, New Zealand businesses will find new opportunities in a net-zero world and this agreement also unlocks the potential for private sector innovation and collaboration.
“In Aotearoa New Zealand we intend to continue leading by example, but the fight against climate change is a truly global effort, and only through cooperation will we deliver our shared goals and build a safer, better future for everyone,” he said.