DairyNZ is urging the Government’s Independent Climate Change Commission to bring our international emissions reduction targets in line with our domestic targets legislated in the Zero Carbon Act by taking a ‘split gas’ approach, chief executive Dr Tim Mackle says.
“Last year New Zealand took a world leading approach by legislating a split gas target in the Zero Carbon Act,” Dr Mackle says.
“This recognised that methane is a short-lived gas and requires a different approach to the long-lived carbon dioxide.
“While we need to take carbon to net zero, we can achieve a situation where we are no longer adding to global warming by reducing and stabilising our methane emissions.”
New Zealand’s international target is currently expressed as a reduction of all greenhouse gases by 30 percent on 2005 levels.
“This is a misalignment with our domestic policy and what the science has said on methane. Having an international target that splits the gases will send a much clearer signal to the international community on why New Zealand’s approach is in line with a 1.5 degrees target,” said Dr Mackle.
“It will also allow us to put something on the table that is domestically achievable, and it will support policy alignment with what was legislated last year through the Zero Carbon Bill.
“We are urging the Climate Change Commission to consider if New Zealand’s international target should be recommunicated as a split gas target, the same as how we are approaching this issue domestically.
“While the Commission is reviewing our Paris Commitments, they should also be reviewing our domestic targets – particularly the methane reduction target which is set as a broad range – to ensure they are fair and appropriate in a New Zealand context,” Dr Mackle concluded.