The Paris Agreement of 2015 was accompanied by nationally determined contribution (NDC) targets set by countries domestically and reported to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) process.
However, time and again it has been proven that the NDCs submitted in 2015 are insufficient. Their cumulative effect, even if all that was committed was achieved, would still take us well past 2°C and near 3°C of warming by the end of the century.
In such a scenario, more drastic measures are required to combat climate change. And New Zealand is taking leadership in this. The country’s lawmakers have passed a “Zero Carbon” bill that it hopes will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to a near-neutral level by 2050.
The legislation, which was supported on both sides of the political divide, mandates that in 40 years’ time, the country should produce no greenhouse gases, except methane, as part of the country’s efforts to meet its Paris climate accord commitments.
The bill has different regulations for methane emissions from animals versus other greenhouse gases, due to farming’s important role in bringing in foreign income. However, it still aims to cut 10% of biological methane by 2030, and up to 47% by 2050.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the countries are not moving fast enough when it comes to combating climate change. “We’re here because our world is warming. Undeniably it is warming,” Ardern said. “And so, therefore, the question for all of us is what side of history will we choose to sit on.”
Video Source: The Guardian