New Zealand will seek to cut its greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2030, the country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this Sunday at a joint press conference with Climate Change Minister James Shaw on the same day that COP26 officially began in Glasgow.
The target is more ambitious than the previous limit set by the government in 2015, which, according to New Zealand Media Stuff, saw emissions cut by 39 percent from 2005 levels by 2030.
“Climate change is a priority for this government because it threatens our economy, our environment and our lives. Increasing our commitment is an investment in a stable climate that will benefit all of us in the future, ”defended Ardern
The 2015 target was declared insufficient by the country’s climate commission in January, and the prime minister promised to review it.
As Shaw noted, the new target is at the limit of what experts believe is possible before 2030, although the country’s emissions are currently very similar to 2005’s.
Under the Paris Agreement, New Zealand has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions so that the earth does not warm more than two degrees above pre-industrial levels.
“Although we make a small contribution to global emissions, as an ocean-surrounded country with an economy dependent on our land, we are not immune to the effects of climate change,” said the Prime Minister.
For his part, Shaw said New Zealand will seek to reduce emissions in other parts of the world, particularly by helping countries in the Asia-Pacific region meet their sustainable development goals.
“The Paris Agreement recognizes that countries must take action in their own country, but can also work with other nations to reduce emissions,” defended the New Zealand minister.