x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

New Zealand sets CO2 emissions target

New Zealand will aim to cut its carbon emissions between 10 and 20 per cent by 2020, the government says.

WELLINGTON // New Zealand will aim to cut its carbon emissions between 10 and 20 per cent by 2020, the government said on Monday. "This target is internationally credible and both environmentally and economically responsible," Climate Change Minister Nick Smith said in a statement. "It is an ambitious but achievable goal." New Zealand's total emissions increased 24 per cent from 1990 to 2008 and Mr Smith said in late July that setting a bold target would be difficult, given it is far above its present emissions target under the United Nation's Kyoto Protocol.

The government conducted widespread consultation with the public and businesses prior to setting the target. Environmental group Greenpeace had been lobbying for a reduction target of 40 per cent, while Federated Farmers, which represents the agricultural sector, have said simply holding at 1990 levels by 2020 would be an achievement. The target would be achieved through domestic emission reductions, the storage of carbon in forests and the purchase of emission reductions from other countries, Mr Smith said.

Whether emissions were closer to 10 per cent or 20 per cent depends on the level of ambition by other nations to cut emissions and limit temperature increases as part of a pact world nations hope to seal at the end of the year during a UN climate gathering in Copenhagen. * Reuters