Government must move faster on climate policies

Press release - April 10, 2007
While it is clear New Zealand is going to have to gear up to adapt to the effects of climate change, the Government´s proposed policies to reduce emissions are simply not enough, Greenpeace said today.

The IPCC's Australia and New Zealand chapter detailed today showed that a huge area of New Zealand, from Northland to the Bay of Plenty would be hit by increased rainfall.  Other impacts would see water shortages in key agricultural areas, along with increased risk of new pests to agriculture, and major biodiversity loss.

 After attending the NIWA briefing on the impacts of climate change in New Zealand this morning, Greenpeace climate campaigner Vanessa Atkinson called on the Government to beef up its proposed policies.

"New Zealand is well behind the game on reducing greenhouse pollution.  We need to put a price on all greenhouse gases right across New Zealand well before 2012, rather than the current proposals of simply concentrating on just our major energy companies until that time," said Atkinson.

"A first step would be putting in place targets for emissions reductions and timetables to reach those targets," she said.

Greenpeace reiterated its call for the Government to adopt a target of a 30 per cent reduction in greenhouse gas pollution on 1990 levels by 2020, and a 90 per cent reduction by 2050.   This was achievable, as outlined in Greenpeace´s Energy Revolution Report (1) released in February.

Emissions could be stabilised from both the electricity and transport sectors by 2020 and could be cut by 72 per cent by 2050.

"New Zealand can and must achieve a 100 per cent renewable electricity system by 2025, but we need the policies and incentives to achieve this," said Atkinson.

Notes: (1) Download the NZ">>NZ energy report here