New Zealand Failing in Climate Change Policy, Carbon Emissions to Rise 38%

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By Reissa Su | December 16, 2013 6:25 PM EST

A new report on climate change has revealed that the New Zealand government is failing on its response to climate change. The Sixth National Communication on Climate Change was released by Generation Zero, a youth climate group in New Zealand.

The report showed that greenhouse gas emissions in every sector in New Zealand such as transport, energy, agriculture and industrial processes are expected to rise in 2030 than previously released figures in 2011 under the policies of the national government.

According to the report, New Zealand's total gross emissions are projected to grow from 72,834.9 Gg CO2 equivalent compared to 82,244.2 Gg CO2 equivalent in 2030. The projected gas emission is a 38 per cent increase under the current New Zealand government headed by Prime Minister John Key.

Under Mr Key's government, the combined effect of policies against climate change is expected to reduce emissions by only 0.4 per cent in 2030 compared to an alternative scenario of a government with no climate policies.

Generation Zero spokesperson Paul Young said the report clearly showed that the current New Zealand government is said to be "doing next to nothing" in moving the country towards a future with less gas emissions. Mr Young said if this continues, the lack of direction will lock New Zealand in a high carbon economy which can lead the country to lose its competitive edge in the 21st century.

Mr Young said Minister Tim Groser cannot hide the fact that New Zealand's carbon pollution will increase under the policies of the current government. The Generation Zero spokesman criticised the government and said it cannot hide behind creative accounting and rhetoric.

New Zealand ranked no. 41 in the world with a "very poor" rating by the Germanwatch and Climate Action Network's Climate Change Performance Index for 2013. Mr Young said New Zealand has the potential to become a "South Pacific success story" with great opportunities for clean energy transition.

Global conservation organisation WWF-NZ Head of Campaigns Peter Hardstaff said New Zealand will be expecting a massive increase in carbon emissions in a critical time the rest of the world is avoiding the effects of climate change.

Mr Hardstaff said it is still possible to stop the worsening effects of climate change if the government will take action. 

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