Monday, July 13, 2015

Climate change: Inadequate

That's Climate Tracker's verdict on National's 2030 emissions reduction target:

New Zealand is far from doing its “fair share” of climate action, with its climate plans, submitted this week to the UN, and rated as “inadequate” by an independent international analysis: the Climate Action Tracker.


New Zealand’s “inadequate” rating indicates that its commitment is not in line with any interpretations of a “fair” approach to reach a 2°C pathway: if most other countries were to follow New Zealand’s approach, global warming would exceed 3–4°C, a world that would see oceans acidifying, coral reefs dissolving, sea levels rising rapidly, and more than 40% species extinction.

“New Zealand’s climate target shows it’s far from doing its ‘fair share,’ and is anything but ambitious,” said Bill Hare, CEO and Senior Scientist at Climate Analytics.

“While most other governments intend cutting emissions, New Zealand appears to be increasing emissions, and hiding this through creative accounting. It may not have to take any action at all to meet either its 2020 or 2030 targets.”

And that last bit is the problem in a nutshell: National doesn't want to do anything. So they've set a "target" that can be met without doing anything, and then changed the baseline to make it sound more ambitious. This isn't a policy, its a snooze button - and one which will make it vastly more difficult to take real action later.