“Although we contribute little to global emissions, as a country surrounded by oceans and an economy that depends on our country, we are not immune to the impact of climate change, so it is crucial to pull our weight,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. statement.
Ardern and Climate Change Minister James Shaw said in a joint statement that the previous target was inconsistent with global efforts to limit global warming to 1.5 Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
New Zealand’s previous target was to reduce emissions to 30% below 2005 levels by 2030.
The 2015 Paris Agreement committed signatories to keeping global warming at “well below” 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels and possibly 1.5 degrees, but atmospheric carbon levels have risen since then.
“This decade is a success or a turning point for the planet,” Shaw said in a statement. “To be able to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, science shows we now have about eight years to nearly halve global greenhouse gas emissions.”
The New Zealand government has introduced several emission reduction policies in its second term, including a promise to make its public sector carbon neutral by 2025 and to buy only zero-emission public transport buses by the middle of this decade.