NZ is 'letting down the world and Pacific' with paltry emissions target, say critics

Critics of the Government's new target for reducing climate change say reaching 30% less emmsions than 2005 by 2030 is "achievable", but shows New Zealand is not "pulling its weight internationally".

Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser's announced the new target today.

The Green Party said the National Government's "paltry emissions reduction target" showed New Zealand is not pulling its weight internationally on the issue of climate change.

"By committing to such a small reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, it means other countries will have to pick up our slack, or we'll get runaway climate change," Green Party international climate negotiations spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham said, adding the target translates to an 11% reduction on 1990 levels. 

Climate change protesters on top of Parliament House. Source: 1 NEWS

"Our fair share is at least a 40% reduction on 1990 levels, and the Government's target is not even close. If all countries followed New Zealand's lead, catastrophic climate change would be the result."

Labour's environment spokesperson Megan Woods said New Zealand's targets should be "at least comparable" to what the European Union targets are, with an overall target of 40% of carbon dioxide emissions below 1990 levels by 2030.

BusinessNZ Chief Executive Phil O'Reilly said the new national target is "achievable", but many businesses are already showing leadership in moving in that direction.

'Well below what is needed'

The World Wide Fund for Nature said New Zealand is letting down the world and the Pacific by failing to commit to do its share on climate change.

Source: 1 NEWS

"The Government's new climate target is well below what is needed to play our part in stopping climate change," WWF executive director Chris Howe said. 

"There are real actions that New Zealand can take now to reduce our emissions, and the longer we leave it the harder it will be. "

'Ambitious' say farmers

Federated Farmers said the target is "ambitious", and Federated Farmers climate change spokesperson Anders Crofoot added the mark was in line with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report focusing on reducing fossil fuel use.

Ocean global warming

"To date, the amount of carbon released in producing a block of butter here in New Zealand is the lowest in the world. It is important to make sure our approach to reducing New Zealand's emissions does not undermine our critical export industries." 

New Zealand Youth Delegation Spokesperson Francisco Hernandez said the emission target will "ensure that New Zealand continues to shirk responsibility for doing our fair share in tackling emissions reductions".

The Intergovermental Panel on Climate Change recommended a 40-70% drop in emissions by 2050. New Zealand currently emits more than three times its share of global emissions per capita and is the fifth largest emitter among the OECD countries.