Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says he will provide an update on New Zealand's stance on a global renewables pledge when he lands in Dubai at the end of the week.
Although he declined to say whether he would sign the pledge, Watts said the government backed the underlying goals of tripling the world's renewable energy and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.
New Zealand was one of only a few OECD countries missing from a list of more than 100 signatories promising to accelerate renewable energy and energy efficiency, which was launched at the COP28 climate summit over the weekend.
Watts leaves for Dubai on Thursday and will attend the tail end of the summit from 8-12 December.
He said he understood the pledge's targets were global in nature, leaving flexibility for individual countries to tailor their approaches.
That means New Zealand could sign up, even though National's policy of doubling renewable energy by 2050 is substantially less than the pledge's global goal of trebling by 2030.
"We have reviewed that specific pledge and I'll look to be proving further updates on that when I arrive on the ground on Thursday," Watts said.
"It is a global pledge and obviously New Zealand's starting point is very different from many other countries.
"But it is consistent with our coalition priorities to double renewable energy by 2050."
New Zealand has a substantially higher share of renewable electricity than most other signatories, including Australia. However, the country will need to expand supply to electrify cars, buses, trains and industrial processes that currently burn fossil fuels.
At a previous climate summit, New Zealand signed a methane pledge to reduce global methane by 30 percent by 2030, despite similarly not planning to make that level of cuts here.
Again, the pledge was to support a global aim, leaving room for different national paths - in that case, deeper cuts to fossil fuel methane and shallower cuts to agricultural methane (New Zealand's major methane source). New Zealand's target is cutting methane by 10 percent by 2030.
This summit, dozens of oil and gas companies promised to get methane leaks from their operations to zero by 2030.
However, the companies attracted criticism for focussing on operational emissions, when it is carbon dioxide from their products that most urgently needs to plunge to limit global heating.
Watts said his key priority at the summit would be working with other countries to push for an ambitious consensus outcome on energy. (A consensus outcome is when all 200-odd countries agree to take action, as distinct from side agreements featuring groups of countries).
He said New Zealand felt the effects of extreme events during devastating cyclone Gabrielle this year.
The action so far
The summit got off to a strong start with the launch of a fund to start giving money to the countries hardest hit by climate change, known as the Loss and Damage Fund. Countries agreed to create a fund at the previous summit, but it took a year to get it running.
Early in this summit, New Zealand also signed up to a pledge on food and agriculture, promising to pursue lower-emissions farming and to help food production adapt to a more turbulent climate. Protecting nature was also part of the pledge.
Other elements have been more fractious.
Hosts the United Arab Emirates have attracted controversy for perceived close ties with oil interests.
COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber - who is also the chief executive officer of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) - is reported by the Guardian to have told former Irish President Mary Robinson, during a live online event in November, that there is "no science" saying phasing out fossil fuel is what is going to keep the world inside 1.5C heating.
Wording around agreeing to "phase out" fossil fuel, or alternatively adopting a softer goal like "phasing down" fossil fuel, or targeting only certain categories of fossil fuel, is a key issue at the summit.
On Sunday, New Zealand was awarded the first "fossil of the day" award of the summit - a mark of dishonour given out by civil society groups. The award was in recognition of the new government's decision to reverse the ban on offshore oil and gas exploration.