Written by By Staff Writer, Jane Wakefield, CNN
New Zealand has posted a dramatic fall in greenhouse gas emissions on its way to beating its 2020 targets under the Paris Agreement.
Taking a carbon-footprinting average from 1990 to 2015, it took NZ 3.8 percent off its emissions, saving the country close to $2 billion. This was achieved through measures like increasing the use of renewable energy, imposing a national ban on coal burning power stations and reducing methane emissions.
The effort will allow New Zealand to sign on to an early review of its participation in the accord, set for 2020.
At the start of United Nations climate talks in Bonn, Germany, on Monday, New Zealand was keen to reaffirm its commitments to the 2015 agreement after rival candidate Donald Trump announced that he will withdraw the US from the pact.
“I made the decision well before that, and we have been moving forward ahead, so there will be a very strong story,” said New Zealand’s minister for climate change, James Shaw.
New Zealand’s Ministry of Climate Change
In 2012, New Zealand pledged to reduce emissions by 40% compared to 1990 levels by 2020, doubling down on its commitments from the Kyoto Protocol. By the end of March 2020, the country must have cut its emissions by 30% compared to 1990 levels.
By 2030, it hopes to reach 100% renewable energy.