New Zealand Sticks to 2030 Climate Target While Waiting for 1.5C Advice

In a submission to the UN on Earth Day, the New Zealand government said the country’s newly established and independent Climate Change Commission would make recommendations “in early 2021” over whether and how its climate plan could be changed “to make it consistent with the 1.5C temperature goal” – the tougher global warming limit of the Paris Agreement.

New Zealand previously committed to reduce emissions by 30% below 2005 levels by 2030. At the end of 2019, it passed a law that sets a net zero goal for all greenhouse gases in 2050 except biogenic methane (mostly from sheep and cattle), which is to be cut 24-47% from 2017 levels.

Climate Action Tracker ranks New Zealand’s current 2030 pledge as “insufficient” to hold warming to 2C – the minimum level of ambition agreed in Paris.

Under the Paris Agreement decision texts, countries are invited to communicate or update their 2030 climate plans, also known as nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and submit their long-term decarbonisation strategies “by 2020”, which is widely interpreted as by 31 December.

So far, only the Marshall Islands, Suriname, Norway, Moldova and Chile have submitted stronger medium-term plans to the UN. Other countries such as Switzerland and Japan have merely reaffirmed previous climate pledges.

(Source: Climate Home News)