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18 Mar 2018 20:44
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  •   Home > News > Business

    NZ's environmental performance facts

    Key facts from the latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development environmental performance review of New Zealand.

    The latest Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development environmental performance review has found Kiwis are driving too much and not enough is being done to reduce the greenhouse effects of farming.


    * Tuesday's report found New Zealand's greenhouse emissions are getting worse while the rest of the OECD's are falling

    * Per capita, New Zealand is among the five highest emitters in the OECD

    * New Zealand's gross emissions increased 6 per cent from 2000 to 2014, compared to emissions falling 5 per cent across all 35 OECD member countries

    * Agriculture is responsible for 49 per cent of New Zealand's greenhouse gases, the highest share of any OECD country

    * New Zealand's Emissions Trading Scheme - the main vehicle for the country to meet its environmental targets - excludes farms

    * Kiwis have the highest rate of car ownership in the OECD, and the fleet is old and inefficient, making it the country's second large source of emissions


    The report made 50 recommendations.

    * Combat climate change by making a plan to meet the 2030 climate mitigation target that looks at how emissions can be reduced in each sector of the economy

    * Improve monitoring of air quality and biodiversity, particularly on private lands

    * Encourage green economic growth by reforming the emission trading scheme and helping set a price of carbon consistent with a "low-carbon economy"

    * Expand the use of environmental taxes and charges to encourage more efficient use of fossil fuels and assess fossil fuel subsidies and tax exemptions

    * Introduce fees to cover government costs of managing water resources and possibly enabling a market to trade credits based on polluted water

    * Assess ways to promote public transport and means of alternative travel, such as car-sharing and transport services that respond better to demand


    * "New Zealand needs to ensure its climate policies are effective in curbing emissions in all sectors, notably transport and agriculture." - OECD environment director and former New Zealand environment minister Simon Upton

    * "This environmental report card will help us sharpen our future direction and environmental aspirations, as well as learn from the experiences of other countries." - Environment Minister Nick Smith

    "The OECD review of NZ's environmental progress has some very sobering news." - Greens Co-Leader James Shaw

    * "Surely by now the government must have received the message, loud and clear, that we are not doing our fair share to prevent the global temperature rising above a level where we will all be worse off." - Massey University Centre for Energy Research director Ralph Sims, calling the report a "fail grade"

    * "Environmental Challenges facing New Zealand agriculture clearly highlighted in #OECD Environmental Review of NZ." - Lincoln University Professor of Agricultural and Food Economics Alan Renwick

    * "Industrial dairying and the environment are on a head-on collision course. Choices have to be made, we can have more cows or a clean environment, not both." - Greenpeace spokesperson Gen Toop.

    * "Eighty per cent of New Zealand's waterways have stable or improving water quality. We need to prioritise our efforts around the remaining 20 per cent." - Federated Farmers spokesman Chris Allen.

    © 2018 NZN, NZCity

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