Paula Bennett says the Government intends to concrete the Paris agreement into place by the end of the year.
She will “within weeks” announce terms of reference and the members of an expert group that will help implement our transition to lower carbon emissions. They hope our trading friends will be mightily pleased by our righteous eagerness to save the planet. Or so they imply.
New Zealand to ratify Paris agreement this year
The Government plans to ratify the Paris agreement on climate change by the end of the year, Climate Change Issues Minister Paula Bennett says.
The agreement was finalised last December and made available for signature in April this year. Ratification is the formal step that countries must take to be full participants and to ensure the deal takes effect.
“The Paris agreement is historic and changed the way the world thinks about climate change. Ratifying it early reinforces our commitment to this deal and our support for the global momentum to grow with lower emissions,” says Mrs Bennett.
Under the agreement, each nation is required to set an emissions reduction target. New Zealand committed to reducing its greenhouse gas emissions to 30 per cent below 2005 levels by 2030.
“This is an ambitious target that won’t be easy for New Zealand to achieve. All parts of society have a part to play in the transition to a lower emissions economy, from central and local government through to businesses, iwi and communities,” Mrs Bennett says.
“New Zealanders are already doing a lot of work to reduce our emissions, from being more energy conscious through to some of the exciting changes in agriculture.
“No matter how much New Zealand reduces its emissions, we will still feel the effects of a changing planet if other nations do not make significant changes.
“It is clear that we need to be better prepared to adapt to these changes, so I am establishing a group of technical experts to look at things like the effects on infrastructure and economic growth.”
Terms of reference and membership for the group will be released within weeks.
The Government plans to finalize ratification before the UN’s Framework Convention on Climate Change conference in November.
The Paris Agreement and a National Interest Analysis will today be tabled in the House of Representatives for consideration by a select committee. The Government will then sign and deliver the ratification document to the United Nations in New York.
These two documents were tabled in the Parliament two days ago: the Paris Agreement and the National Interest Analysis. Nice that we’ve finally been given one of these—the ETS wasn’t treated with such respect. Mind you, I haven’t read it yet.
What transpires for the country will be determined by the membership of the “group of experts”, so picking them is crucial. Will the minister include representatives of the country’s many highly-qualified climate sceptics or has she been required to stick with the activists from Victoria University and the Royal Society?
Why is the government keen to show “commitment to this deal” and “support for lower emissions” globally? What favours have we been promised in return? Are we simply trying to boost Helen Clark’s campaign for chief commissar (or whatever it’s called), knowing it will give the country a higher profile for several years?
This is for sure: all the spending on emission reductions will bring us nothing; all the income foregone for climate change will avail us nothing; all the zeal displayed for the Paris agreement will profit us nothing.
So we had better be very sure what we do, why we do it and above all who we do it with. That’s why I’ve volunteered to serve on the committee.