The greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for the 2020s the Government intends to pledge has been rated inadequate by Climate Action Tracker, and as falling short of a fair share of the international effort required.
If most other countries were to follow New Zealand’s approach, global warming would exceed 3 or 4°C, a world that would see oceans acidifying, coral reefs dissolving, sea levels rising rapidly, and more than 40 per cent species extinction.
“While most other governments intend cutting emissions, New Zealand appears to be increasing emissions, and hiding this through creative accounting.
“There are no policies in place to address the fastest-growing sources of emissions in New Zealand from transport and industrial sources. For the energy system, whilst it is predominantly hydro and renewables, there is potential for further increasing renewable energy, and improving efficiency on the user end.”
It also points out, as domestic critics of the target have and as Climate Change Minister Tim Groser has conceded, that it does not put New Zealand on a direct, straight line path to its longer-term goal of a 50 per cent reduction by 2050, unlike other major economies such as the European Union or the United States.
“New Zealand’s climate policy is projected to head in the opposite direction from the world’s biggest emitters such as China, the United States and the European Union.
It has taken little or no action on climate change since 2008 – except for watering down its ETS – and we can find no evidence of any policies that would change this,” said Professor Kornelis Blok of Ecofys.
Extracted from an article by Brian Fallow, Former Economics Editor, New Zealand Herald: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11480000 – 13 July 2015[The 23-page Climate Action Tracker report can be downloaded here.]