Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Minister Shaw tells COP27 it’s ‘crunch time’ for climate action

Minister of Climate Change, James Shaw, has marked the end of COP27 negotiations in Egypt by declaring it “crunch time” for countries to step up and take urgent action at home.

“Even though we have these international negotiations every year, our focus must always be on what we do in the time between these. Aotearoa New Zealand will continue to do everything we possibly can to urgently cut climate pollution and build a safer, cleaner future,” Minister Shaw said.

“Global progress is slow, but right now we still have a choice about the future we want to build. Every tenth of a degree of global warming prevented matters; every tonne of pollution we cut makes a difference; every decision we take counts. 

“In the 12 months since the last COP, this Government has shown real leadership, including putting in place New Zealand’s first ever plan to cut climate pollution in a way that makes life better for everyone, protects nature, and improves our communities. We know there is a lot more to do, but we are making progress.”

The Government also continues to be a voice for urgent action on the international stage, he said. 

“At COP27, we once again stood alongside our Pacific neighbours and pushed for greater ambition on emission cuts; a faster phase out of fossil fuels; joined-up action to cut climate pollution and protect nature; and more support to help countries adapt to, and cover the losses that will result from, a warmer world.”

“We are not satisfied that there’s been sufficient progress across most of these issues. However, countries do remain committed to limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees – and that matters for future talks. Countries also remain committed to phasing down coal, which, again, is a foundation to build from. 

“One bright spot from COP was the agreement countries reached to establish new funding mechanisms to cover loss and damage in the hardest hit countries. Like with any other issue, and any other COP, much more could have been done. However, activists from poorer countries have been pushing for something like this for years and it should be acknowledged as a significant step forward.”

Minister Shaw said the New Zealand Government had already signalled its seriousness on loss and damage with a $20 million contribution to support those countries most at-risk.

“I hope other countries will also recognise the collective global failure to cut climate pollution fast enough and make meaningful contributions to a fund that, frankly, we’d prefer we didn’t need,” he said.

“Overall, this COP has been much like any other, in that some progress has been made but not at anything like the speed required. And so, attention must once again turn to the action countries must take to decarbonise their own economies.”

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