New Zealand’s lead author on the 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) report has said the New Zealand Government’s Bill to propose
a framework to transition to a low emissions economy does not go far enough
in reducing emissions.
The Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, released 8 March,
has two aims: to help limit global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees
Celsius and to build a country and economy that can cope with the changing
Bronwyn Hayward was New Zealand’s lead author on last year’s major IPCC.
The report said limiting warming to 1.5 degrees is necessary to ensure a
more sustainable and equitable society.
Hayward has said the Bill is ‘hopeful’, but ‘troubling’, in that it does
not go far enough in curbing emissions, and instead appears to set a low
bar in order to get a majority of sectors and stakeholders onboard.
This view is exemplified by the treatment in the Bill of methane, compared
to other greenhouse gases. The Bill proposes a new emissions reduction
target for all greenhouse gases, except methane, to net zero by 2050, in
line with New Zealand’s commitments under the Paris Agreement. Methane
emissions are set to be reduced by a mere 10 percent below 2017 levels by
2030, with a provisional reduction of 24 to 47 percent by 2050.
The exception of methane is understood by those sceptical of the Bill to be
an appeasement of the agricultural sector who have lobbied against what
they see as unfair targets imposed on farming to reduce methane emissions.
The Bill and the proposals it supports are a great start. However, as
Iwi Chairs Forum on Climate Change spokesman Mike Smith
said following the announcement of the Bill, “…there’s no detail about how
we’re going to get there [achieve deduction targets] and equally if the
sectors in society don’t move in that direction, how is the government
going to compel them or enforce it?”. Smith continued, “the future of our
mokopuna, there is no second prize, we either win that or it’s ‘game over’
so we’ve got to get it right…we can’t afford to have fake solutions or weak
Te Koeke Tiriti is the TEU’s own framework which sets out whāinga, or
values, to guide our decision-making, and our actions, and advance our TEU
Tiriti relationship. Te Pou Tuarā Lee Cooper said, “A core whāinga of Te
Koeke Tiriti is ‘ngā piki, ngā heke’, the work we do to minimise our impact
on the environment, to foster ahīka – the interrelationship of people and
the land, including tūrangawaewae – a place where each has the right to
stand and belong.”
The TEU respects the findings of the IPCC, and their expertise in the field
of climate science. The Bill introduced by the Coalition Government
represents a landmark shift in New Zealand’s sense of urgency with regards
to the crisis of climate change. But the TEU argues much more must be done
to bring Government policy in line with the IPCC findings and to minimise
our impact on the environment.
For more from Iwi Chairs Forum Climate Change spokesman Mike Smith visit:
For more information on the the IPCC report see: