Setting climate change targets alone is not enough, New Zealand will have to have a clear plan on how to achieve these targets, says Labour’s Climate Change Spokesperson Megan Woods in the party’s submission to the next world conference.
“The fact is that we are failing to meet targets we have set. This is not surprising because the Government has no plan on how we are going to reach these targets.
“Labour wants to get serious about meeting them and the backbone of this plan is having an independent climate commission who is tasked with carbon budgeting.
“Coming up with a plan of how we are going to meet our obligations at the Paris conference is the critical piece of the puzzle. We can set all the targets we like, but the simple fact is that this is meaningless unless we actually meet them.
“Our record is woeful. Ministry for the Environment figures show between 1990 and 2012 New Zealand's emissions rose by more than 20 per cent. New Zealand's emissions per person were the 5th highest out of 40 developed nations in 2012. A recent Global Action Network survey found we had slipped to 43rd out of 58 countries it surveyed because we are not reducing our use of fossil fuels.
“The Government must also be held responsible for the brevity and superficiality of the submission process. It had a pro-forma feel to it and we missed the opportunity to have a proper, meaningful discussion and examination of our targets.”
“We have also missed the chance to debate how we are going to address agricultural emissions. The Government is simply burying its head in the sand.
“Alongside this, we must have ambitious targets on lowering carbon dioxide emissions from energy use, including transport. In principle, those targets should be at least comparable to what the EU has undertaken to do within its overall target of a 40 per cent GHG emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030,” says Megan Woods.