New Zealand rows back on carbon cutting target

New Zealand has plumped for a far less ambitious commitment to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions than it originally proposed. The Kiwi nation plans to reduce its emissions to 5% […]

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By Vicky Ellis

New Zealand has plumped for a far less ambitious commitment to cutting its greenhouse gas emissions than it originally proposed.

The Kiwi nation plans to reduce its emissions to 5% below 1990 levels by 2020, rather than the 10-20% cut it has previously hinted at.

Announcing the news last week Climate Change Minister Tim Groser claimed the target will best earlier international pledges.

He said: “Our 2020 target is more ambitious than our Kyoto Protocol first commitment period target, compares favourably with our traditional partners’ actions and reflects New Zealand’s unique national circumstances.”

Clearly the cost of cutting carbon has weighed on New Zealand’s leaders.

The minister added: “The target is affordable and demonstrates that New Zealand is doing its fair share to address global climate change. In deciding this target, the Government has carefully balanced the cost to New Zealand households and businesses against taking ambitious action to tackle climate change.”