National sets climate goal: 50 in 50

As outlined by Colin James last week, John Key has announced that National will now support Kyoto, and legislate to achieve a 50 percent cut in emissions by 2050. Speaking at National’s Northern Regional Conference in Whangarei, Key said:

“I will set the achievable emission reduction target for New Zealand. Here it is: A 50 percent reduction in carbon-equivalent net emissions, as compared to 1990 levels, by 2050. In shorthand: A 50 percent cut by 2050. 50 by 50. If I am Prime Minister of New Zealand I will write this target into law.

6 thoughts on “National sets climate goal: 50 in 50”

  1. It is good to see National making positive steps, when dealing with anthropogenic climate change, however, it would be good to see how they are going to deal with emissions in the short term.

  2. I/S at No Right Turn has an interesting take on National’s target:

    So, “50% by 2050” is a fair contribution, at least by comparison with other nations. It’s not exactly leading the world, but its certainly doing our bit. The challenge now for National is to flesh out this distant target with some intermediate targets and some firmer policies for meeting them. The challenge for the government is to beat it.

    Intermediate targets – like the UK’s five year rolling targets – would be good, I agree. Ultimately, however, we have to get to a point where total global emissions reductions limit atmospheric CO2e to less than 550ppm – and from a purely climate perspective, the closer we can get to 450ppm the better.

  3. It would be great then if all political parties would advocate contraction and convergence. 450 ppm is still on the top end of where emission levels should ideally be.

  4. Nice to see we’re heading towards cross-party agreement on action. Seems like the big issue now is going to be who gets the potential windfalls from emissions permits. I like I/S’s suggestion of auctioning them.

    I’m suspicious of National’s scheme to reform the RMA, which seems like an attempt to piggy-back onto climate change issues something the business lobby has long wanted to do. What specific reforms do they have in mind?

  5. Good question. The Bluegreen Vision (PDF) from last October has an interesting range of suggestions, mostly geared to speeding up the consent process. A lot of their proposals make sense, others will be highly contentious – including the suggestion that “large and complex” cases could be referred directly to the Environment Court.

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