New Zealand Government Told to Move Faster on Carbon Reduction
(Bloomberg) -- New Zealand’s government welcomed a harsh assessment of its efforts to reduce carbon emissions, saying it was willing to do more to achieve its targets.
The Climate Change Commission said on Sunday that the country’s government must move faster to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The independent body published a draft package of advice on the steps that New Zealand must make, recommending “transformational and lasting change” including transition to electric vehicles, more renewable energy generation and climate-friendly farming practices.
The commission also said the nation’s progress “is not compatible with the country’s responsibilities under the Paris Agreement to contribute to global efforts to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels” and urged faster reduction of methane emissions from cows and other farm animals.
“The positive news is that the government’s actions to date have laid much of the groundwork for the transition but that more is now required,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement. “The report demonstrates we have the tools we need to achieve our target, but calls on us to accelerate our work. As a government we are committed to picking up the pace and focusing much more on decarbonization and reducing emissions.”
Ardern said her government asked the commission to review its emissions reduction commitments and whether they still met the obligations made under the 2015 Paris Agreement.
“The Commission confirmed they are not and have recommended they be strengthened,” she said. “On that basis we will begin work to revise them this year.”
The Commission is calling for submissions on its draft recommendations before presenting final advice to the government in May.
“The advice is ambitious but realistic and makes a clear case to government for taking immediate and decisive action on climate change,” Chairman Rod Carr said in a statement. “The good news is that our analysis shows there are technically achievable, economically affordable and socially acceptable paths for New Zealand to take.”
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