Thursday, December 10, 2020

Climate Change: Not doing our bit

There have been a number of stories recently about how New Zealand is not doing its bit on climate change, that despite all our talk and targets, we haven't actually reduced emissions, and are actually one of the dirtiest polluters per capita in the world. And this is beginning to have diplomatic consequences. But there's another way we're not doing our bit: climate finance. A core part of the Paris Agreement was that rich counties would fund adaptation and emissions reduction in poorer ones, to help them along. As noted here, this was the key to the whole deal. But New Zealand isn't doing that either:

New Zealand is not living up to its climate change promises when it comes to helping fund poorer countries adapt to a warming world, a report by Oxfam has found.

A new report says the country’s climate finance has “stagnated” in recent years putting it far behind comparative countries in per capita terms.

According to the report, Standing With The Frontlines, New Zealand ranks 21st out of 23 highly developed countries in total finance provided between 2017 and 2018 in per capita terms. That equates to each citizen donating NZ$10.60 per capita per year in climate finance, or just under NZ$51m per year in total.


The highest-contributing countries per capita far outstrip New Zealand with contributions between US$40 and US$96 per person. Even similar sized countries, such as Ireland and Denmark make contributions of US$14 and US$27 per person, respectively.

Yes, New Zealand is small. But if we want bigger economies to do their bit, we need to do ours, and that means coughing up our share. And until we do, we're just a dirty climate criminal, no better than Trump's America.