NZ Government’s just-announced climate change target a “con job”

Press release - July 7, 2015
“Con job” is the word being used to describe the climate change targets the New Zealand Government will be putting on the table at the Paris Climate Conference in December.

Shockingly, the just-announced target is actually worse than it was six years ago, says Greenpeace NZ Climate Campaigner Simon Boxer.

The government has said it will aim for a 2030 target of 30% below 2005 emission levels.

“On paper it may look ok, but it’s a distraction from the fact that it’s not an improvement on any of our previous targets at all - it’s a con-job,” he says.

In reality, a 2030 target of 30% below 2005 levels is equivalent to cutting emissions to 11% below 1990 levels – the year the measurement has always been based on in the past.

“So it’s actually far worse than the 10-20% we pledged to cut by 2020 at the Copenhagen Climate Conference in 2009,” Boxer says.

Even more tellingly, the NZ Government has not stated in today’s announcement that it has changed its position from last year in regards to the targets not being legally binding.

“Those in power who are meant to be representing the best interests of Kiwis can bandy about any figures they like, but guess what - they won’t actually have to stick to them if this plan goes ahead.”

Real and tangible climate action is needed now, says Boxer, because targets without any sort of plan to achieve them are completely meaningless.

“In his seven years at the helm of our country, John Key has failed to introduce a single piece of law to reduce climate pollution – that’s not going to change.”

By the government’s own figures, the increase in total emissions by 2020 will be almost 30% worse than it was in 1990.