Reduce Emissions by 50% or 5%? Tale of two cities/countries

Reduce Emissions by 50% or 5%? Tale of two cities/countries

New Zealand’s Climate Change Issues Minister Dr Nick Smith believes a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, or in short “minus 50 by 50”, is a realistic but credible target for the country, which has already introduced an emissions trading scheme, unlike Tasman neighbour Australia with a lowly 5% – repeat 5% – emissions reduction target and no sign yet of a scheme or carbon tax. Wellington will host this year’s Climate Change and Business Conference 1-2 August.

27 January

Wellington City Council is bringing the pre-eminent climate change and business conference in the Asia-Pacific region to the city in 2011.

The city will host the 7th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference on 1 – 2 August 2011 with the Council as Foundation Sponsor.

The 2010 conference in Sydney was the most important conference of its type, attracting delegates from throughout the region. It saw participation by key business leaders, politicians, academics and industry experts and presentations from the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, national and state politicians, and a wide range of industry sectors including banking, farming, forestry, investment, management, technology, transport, and energy.

Announcing the decision, Wellington City Mayor Celia Wade-Brown said that after the success of the 2009 (Melbourne) and 2010 (Sydney) events, she was very pleased that the conference was being held in Wellington.

“Our city has taken a lead in preparing to adapt to likely impacts from climate change and we have been proactive in seeking to reduce Wellington’s emissions in partnership with business,” said Mayor Wade-Brown.

“We have combined infrastructure planning with natural planning. We will profile some of these actions at the conference and invite other innovators to do the same.

She said Wellington’s compact form and abundance of renewable energy-generating potential through wind, tide and sun made it a highly appropriate venue for the conference.

“The Climate Change and Business Conference is a great opportunity to share experiences across the Asia-Pacific region. We expect senior leaders from Australasian business and politics and international and local experts to contribute to an outstanding conference program,” Mayor Wade-Brown said.

The conference is a not-for-profit event. Its purpose is to provide business with the latest information and analysis to enable best-practice responses to climate change.  A key theme for this year’s conference will be business opportunities arising from the emergence of clean technologies.

Conference convenor Elizabeth Edmonds, speaking from Sydney, said that there will be plenty of new content to share at this year’s conference.

“Given the extreme weather events in Australia, we will be exploring whether these events can be linked to anthropogenic climate change and whether we can expect more of them. We will take a close look at how Australia and New Zealand will need to adapt to a changing environment during the 21st century and what that investment will mean for business.

“The primary focus will however be on emerging policy settings.

“We have an emissions trading scheme up and running in New Zealand which is being reviewed, with findings expected mid-year. Australia, after some false starts, is now well on the road to developing its own market instruments and progress there will be reported in full.

“Additional sessions will explain developments in international policy and will explore the full range of current and emerging complementary policies in both countries.

“The business sector wants to understand what these changes mean and how it should respond, both in managing new risks and in seeking new opportunities. The conference will provide that input in a high quality, packed two-day program and associated exhibition,” Ms Edmonds concluded.

The 7th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change and Business Conference is organised by the Climate Change and Business Centre (Sydney) and Point Carbon (Norway), a world-leading provider of independent news and analysis of carbon markets. 

The conference is supported by an extensive range of business groups, NGOs and governments across five countries

Source: and

Saturday, 29 January 2011, 5:41 pm
Press Release: New Zealand Government

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for Climate Change Issues

50 by 50 emissions reduction target proposed

The Government is proposing to gazette under the Climate Change Response Act 2002 a 50% reduction in New Zealand’s greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“We acknowledge it is difficult to look 40 years forward but the nature of the climate change problem requires we think and plan for the long term,” Dr Smith said. “We believe a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels by 2050, or in short -50 by 50, is a realistic but credible target for New Zealand.

 “This target will require New Zealand to reduce net emissions by 31 million tonnes a year. This is a very big ask when nearly half our emissions come from agriculture and when we already produce 70% of our electricity from renewables. It will only be achievable with major technological innovations in areas like agriculture and transport, which are quite possible over this timeframe.

“This proposed New Zealand 2050 target is quite compatible with similar targets set in Australia (-50%), Canada (-50 to 65%), Japan (-55 to 80%) and the United States (-80%). It is consistent with the Government’s policy of ensuring New Zealand does its fair share in the global effort to limit the negative impacts of climate change while recognising the unique emissions profile New Zealand has with the dominance of agriculture.

“This long-term emissions reduction target cannot be set in stone and will need to be regularly reviewed taking into account the latest scientific advice on climate change, progress made by other nations, and progress made in the development of new technologies that would enable New Zealand to reduce emissions.”

Submissions on the proposed -50 by 50 target can be made to the Ministry for the Environment at and close on 28 February 2011.


One Response to “Reduce Emissions by 50% or 5%? Tale of two cities/countries”

  1. Discussing Carbon Tax, CO2, Carbon Trading, one must comprehend the cornerstone cause is, climate change, a repetitive event in Earths life accelerated by anthropogenic changes to all aspects of the environment. Addressing carbon tax, carbon trading in isolation is, “moving the deck chairs”.
    Robert Vincin

Leave a Reply