Climate Change: New Zealand, Australia Needs to Do 'More' to Help Reduce Global Gas Emissions

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The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has found global carbon emissions have increased faster between the years 2000 and 2010 compared to the last 30 years. The IPCC said attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions continue to fail.

One of the authors of the IPCC report said New Zealand is not doing its part to reduce the effects of climate change. According to the country's Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions had increased by 25 per cent between 1990 and 2012.

Ralph Sims, a professor at Massey University who also helped write the UN panel's report in one chapter said the current situation can be fixed, but New Zealand is "not playing its part." Professor Sims said New Zealand only has to reduce its emissions by 5 per cent by 2020, while other countries are required to lose 10 or 20 or 30 per cent.

He said the New Zealand government has no policy or law in place to require anyone to reduce emissions. James Renwick, associate professor and climate scientist from Victoria University, believes the government's target in reducing emissions is high, but it is yet to be known how it will achieve the goal.

Minister for Climate Change Issues Tim Groser said the IPCC report only proves that an international agreement is important to reach global emissions goals. He said New Zealand is on its way to pushing for a binding international agreement on emissions after 2020.

Australia needs "strong climate action"

According to Dr Frank Jotzo from the Australian National University, Australia has to quadruple low carbon energy use in 2050 or risk the consequences of climate change to agriculture, coastal areas and tourism.

Dr Jotzo said Australia has every opportunity to become an energy super power and develop low or zero carbon sources of energy. He said Australia is one of the developed countries that is most at risk from the effects of climate change.

The new IPCC report was released on April 13 and focused on technical, economic and institutional requirements of mitigating the impact of climate change. The report also suggested that world should reduce use more low-carbon energy sources by 2050. 

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