New Zealand plans to cut methane emissions to meet climate change targets

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech On Wednesday, the climate crisis was a matter of “life and death” as a plan to meet his government’s ambitious green goals was unveiled.

Driving the news: The Climate Commission, an independent government advisory body, exposes in his report what the country needs to do to meet its 2050 goal of producing zero carbon emissions – including reducing biogenic methane emissions from 24% to 47%, with no new connection to household gas by 2025.

Why is this important: While the targets are ambitious, what is particularly noteworthy is that it is unusual for a country to have a methane target (the United States does not have one) – especially one. like New Zealand, where agriculture is the largest sector of the business economy, contributing 5.1% of GDP in the 12 months to September 2020.

  • Through a government statement, New Zealand is the “first country … to legislate a price on agricultural emissions and we are currently building the world’s only farm-level emissions measurement, management and pricing system, which will come into effect in 2025 ”.
  • For the country to meet its methane target, herd sizes would need to decrease by 10% to 15% for this to happen, according to the report.

Enlarge: The commission proposes to the government three ways to follow to respect the budgets of emissions proposed.

  • For biogenic methane, this means reductions of 8% by 2025, 12% by 2030 and 17% by 2035.
  • It also recommends phasing out fossil-fueled vehicles by 2030 to 2035, when nearly all imported cars are expected to be electric, according to the report.

To note : This objective of phasing out sales of new internal combustion engine vehicles in 2035 is in line with several others governments, including that of California.

Yes, but: In order for New Zealand to meet its electric vehicle target, the country would need to increase the market share of electric vehicles from 1 to 2% currently to 50% over the next 10 years, the Guardian Notes.

What they say : Ardern said in his speech that the report “reminds us that achieving our climate goals is achievable and affordable with existing technology.”

  • She said in a separate declaration that the commission “is making it clear for the first time that delaying action will only make the effort more difficult and costly for the economy in the long run”.
  • Ardern noted that the report “predicts that failing to act now will cost us 2.3% of GDP by 2050, almost double the cost to our economy of acting now.”

And after: The government will announce its final decision Emissions reduction plan, on the basis of the commission’s guidelines, by the end of this year.

Go further: Prime Minister pledges to produce 100% renewable energy in New Zealand by 2030


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