Global conservation organisation WWF has labelled the New Zealand government’s newly announced voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reduction target as ‘a failure’. Earlier today, Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand will voluntarily commit to an emissions reduction of 5% below 1990 levels by 2020.
This follows more than six months of procrastination after the government failed to make a voluntary commitment at the last UN climate summit in December 2012. It also follows the decision not to sign up to a legally binding commitment in the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol made just before the December 2012 summit in Doha.
WWF-New Zealand Head of Campaigns, Peter Hardstaff said:
“The government’s target fails every test: it is far weaker than the science demands, it is far weaker than our fair share of global action and it is far weaker than many other countries.
“Following the gutting of the ETS and the decision to stay out of the Kyoto Protocol, it sends a further signal to the rest of the world that New Zealand has every intention of doing as little as possible to reduce emissions. No matter how the government spins it, this is another nail in the coffin for New Zealand’s clean green image.”
Mr Hardstaff continued: “A clean energy future for New Zealand is 100% possible. We really can do it if we set the right policies in place to kick start the transition towards a low carbon economy. We urge all New Zealanders to demand change and we urge the government to rethink its backwards approach to energy and climate policy.”