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15 Dec 2017 23:11
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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.

    REPORT FINDINGS:

    * 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

    RECOMMENDATIONS:

    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

    REACTION:

    * "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.

    © 2017 NZN, NZCity


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