13 Apr 2015

Focus on 2030 climate target

8:53 am on 13 April 2015

New Zealand will have to lift its game to contribute to international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, let alone meet its current target, forest owners say.

An aerial view of Aupouri Forest, alongside Ninety Mile Beach.

An aerial view of Aupouri Forest, alongside Ninety Mile Beach. Photo: 123RF

The latest Greenhouse Gas Inventory report shows the country's total emissions, mostly from agriculture and the transport and energy sectors, increased by more than 20 percent between 1990 and 2013, although there was a slight drop in the last year.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand was on track to meet its 2020 target of reducing emissions to five percent below 1990 levels.

He also expected a turnaround in forestry plantings, which have been happening more slowly than deforestation.

But Forest Owners Association's chief executive David Rhodes wants to know the basis for the minister's optimism, in a year when New Zealand is yet to reveal its target for the next commitment period.

"Well I'm pleased that the minister is optimistic that we're going to meet our 2020 target. We do have some credit that has built up that we can rely on, but the focus now is on 2030.

"This is the year when the whole world is coming together and saying okay, that's what you did previously, that's what you said you were going to do, but really, what are we going to do from here on?

"And this is where I think what we have been doing in the past is certainly not going to be enough for us to put a higher level of commitment on the table."

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