New Zealand slammed again over UN climate action

December 9, 2015 1:43 pm


Greens co-leader Metiria Turei has hit out at the Government over the ranking. Photo / Greg Bowker

Two international reports have slated ’s
efforts as UN negotiations in ramp up in their final week.
research organisation Germanwatch has ranked New Zealand 42nd for its
climate efforts, with a score of 52 per cent and down from 34th the
previous year.
The report ranked developed and newly
industrialised countries against a range of indicators, including carbon
emissions, development of renewable energies and climate policy.
Zealand has brought to Paris a new target of reducing its greenhouse
gas emissions by 30 per cent from 2005 levels and 11 per cent from 1990
levels by 2030.
Joining it in the “poor” category of the league
table were China, Brazil, Spain and the United States. Denmark, Sweden
and the UK were the best rated and Australia, Saudi Arabia and
Kazakhstan were the worst.
The Green Party and WWF New Zealand have already hit out at the Government over the ranking.

“It’s frustrating enough that we’ve dropped seven places in a
highly regarded report; what’s worse is New Zealand is now ranked in the
bottom five countries globally for overall climate policy,” Greens
co-leader Metiria Turei said.
WWF head of campaigns Peter
Hardstaff accused the Government of a lack of action over the past six
years and being “stuck in the last century” over climate action.
Zealand needs to start grasping the opportunities that exist to reduce
emissions across transport, electricity generation, industry, forestry
and agriculture.”
Meanwhile, global Climate Action Tracker, which
measured nearly 160 commitments by countries to lower emissions, rated
New Zealand’s pledge as “inadequate”.
The analysis found that if
all countries met their pledges, this would result in around 2.7C of
temperature rise by 2100, higher than the warming limit of 2C agreed at
the UN climate conference in 2010, and higher still than a 1.5C cap
being called for by Pacific nations.
However, the report authors
found, if governments who submitted a conditional target were to have
their conditions met, and increased their climate action accordingly,
and if those who planned to build new coal plants were to cancel them,
the gap could be reduced substantially.
“Looking at the
conditional climate pledges, it’s clear that governments have already
identified the potential for further mitigation and this could
substantially contribute to closing the emissions gap by around 15 per
cent,” said Dr Louise Jeffery, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate
Impact Research.
The Paris talks, which aim to produce a new
agreement by 196 countries to cut emissions beyond 2020, are expected to
wrap up by the weekend.

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