16 August 2013
NZ Can and Must Aim Higher With Emissions Target - Generation Zero
The Government’s newly announced 2020 greenhouse gas emissions target is inadequate and New Zealand can and must aim higher to restore its reputation and help deliver a positive future for young people, says youth climate change group Generation Zero.
Climate Change Minister Tim Groser’s announcement today that “New Zealand has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions to five percent below 1990 levels by 2020” is a weakening of the Government’s previously stated target range of 10-20% below 1990 levels.
“At a time when our environmental reputation is again under the microscope, this latest backtrack will fail to undo any of the damage caused by pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol last year,” says Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young.
Scientific advice from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates developed countries like New Zealand should be making reductions of 25-40% below 1990 levels on average to put the world on track to protect the globally agreed two degree warming limit.
“Other countries are listening to the science and acting,” says Mr Young. “Denmark, for example, is committed to reducing its emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.”
“Minister Groser cannot claim in good faith that this target constitutes a ‘fair share’ if his Government is truly committed to a future with less than two degrees of warming.”
Generation Zero is urging other political parties to commit to a stronger emissions reduction target in line with the science.
“As the current Government is not delivering we are calling on other political parties to show responsible leadership on this issue by pledging a stronger commitment,” says Mr Young.
The group is also challenging the Government to make its commitment real by showing how it will meet it.
“The latest official projections show emissions rising out to 2020 and beyond,” says Mr Young.
“New Zealand needs a comprehensive low carbon strategy that delivers a real fair share and captures our huge opportunities to build a clean 21st century economy.”
About Generation Zero
An organisation of young New Zealanders promoting solutions to climate change through smart transport, clean energy and healthy liveable cities.