New Zealand's Response

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  • New Zealand ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 10 December, 2002.
  • Since the Kyoto Protocol has come into force, New Zealand has a legally binding commitment to reduce emissions of the six specified greenhouse gases from 2008 onwards.
  • In the first commitment period, 2008-2012, New Zealand has accepted an obligation to reduce its annual emissions to the level of 1990 emissions, i.e. calculated as an average over the five years. 
  • On current projections, New Zealand is expected to miss its Kyoto target by 36.2 mt CO2 e.
  • Inclusion of New Zealand's forest sinks was expected to exceed the predicted increase in emissions providing an overall decrease from the 1990 net emissions level on a business as usual basis. This is no longer thought to be the case, with a projected emissions blow-out between 2008-2012 of 36 million tonnes/CO2 which could cost New Zealand billions of dollars to buy the required carbon credits, depending on the international price of carbon.
  • Currently Government Climate Change policies are under review, due to a lack of political and public support for the introduction of a carbon tax. The Government will be consulting in 2007 on the develpment of new policy.
  • Climate Change policies are linked to other foundation policies - the Waste strategy, the Transport strategy and the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation strategy  and the New Zealand Energy Strategy, which is expected to be released soon.

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