New Zealand is working with the rest of the world to combat climate change. This page provides information on current activities and initiatives.
New Zealand negotiators, ministers and civil society delegates attended the milestone global climate summit in Katowice, Poland in December 2018, helping shape and finalise the Paris Agreement rulebook.
The Katowice Climate Package adopted at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP24) details how countries will implement the Paris Agreement (external link) effectively. New Zealand’s goal for the summit was largely achieved: the technical guidelines enable everyone to understand what each Party has committed to, and track individual progress towards national targets (called Nationally Determined Contributions (external link) or NDCs) as well as collective progress towards the Paris Agreement's goals.
Crucially, all countries will now be accountable for emissions reduction targets. They will be required to report on these, as well as other actions to address climate change, in a transparent manner. The rulebook now details robust requirements for transparency, mitigation, adaptation and compliance. Countries will more clearly communicate the financial and technological support and capacity building they provide and mobilise. Developing countries will also have a platform to talk about the support they need and receive. The five-yearly global stocktake provides a vehicle for maintaining pressure on countries to implement increasingly ambitious emissions reduction targets and actions.
COP24 did not agree guidance for the use of international carbon markets under the Paris Agreement. New Zealand will continue to advocate for rules that ensure environmental integrity in carbon markets, so that they deliver real emissions reductions. We aim to get these adopted at COP25 in December 2019 in Chile.
The delivery of the Paris rulebook at COP24 is an important political signal that global momentum on climate action is irreversible.
New Zealand, together with four partner countries, held ‘Act!on Agriculture (external link)’, a series of seminars to bring about action on sustainable agriculture to achieve the Paris Agreement’s goals.
Read MFAT's COP24 End of Meeting Report [PDF, 2.2 MB]
Stay up to date
Follow us on Twitter @ClimateEnvoyNZ (external link) and join the conversation #NZCOP24.
At COP24, New Zealand is jointly hosting a side event called Act!on Agriculture. This speaker series offers real-world lessons on how to increase agricultural productivity, reduce emissions, and build resilience to climate change impacts.
Keep up to date with the programme details of Act!on Agriculture as they develop and join the conversation #ActionAgriculture.
We are proud supporters of Subject to Change, a documentary on climate change in New Zealand and the Pacific made by final year Massey University film students in 2018.
Read the Cabinet paper approving the negotiating mandate [PDF, 1.5 MB]
Summary of feedback from consultation
From 14 March to 3 April 2018 MFAT consulted on New Zealand’s UNFCCC negotiating priorities for the year. We received 34 oral and written submissions.
Broadly, submitters wanted to see the following issues addressed:
- Ambition Cycle/Global Stocktake: Respondents want to ensure that the processes for countries to continually ratchet up their ambition under the Paris Agreement enshrine environmental integrity, and is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals.
- Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs): Most submitters saw NDCs as a priority, and want them supported by rigorous transparency guidelines. Some urged resisting separate reporting systems for developed and developing countries, with any differentiation limited to factors like economy size or percentage of global emissions. Submitters don’t want to see backsliding on NDCs, and want us to encourage countries to strive for economy-wide targets. Some seek international agreement on global standards for measuring sequestration by carbon capture and storage.
- Carbon Markets: Many want an international carbon price, and say emissions trading schemes should have clearly-defined industry coverage. Several respondents advocated for direct access to efficient carbon markets for consumers and business. Others felt afforestation should be incentivised through markets, but without diluting agreed land-use accounting rules.
- Transparency: Respondents generally put a high priority on transparency, including for carbon markets and offset arrangements. Submitters want the transparency framework to ensure NDCs and national inventories are rigorous and clearly reported (so they are accessible to third parties), and want all countries to provide progress reports that will be subject to independent expert review.
- Agriculture: Many emphasised the need to ensure agriculture is included in NDCs and/or the Paris Agreement negotiations. Some considered the vulnerability of individual countries should be as much of a consideration as their action to reduce emissions. Several respondents want outcomes that recognise the efforts of our agriculture sector to reduce emissions, including through international collaboration on research.
- Climate Finance: Some submitters argued that climate resilience and adaptation should be a focus of New Zealand’s climate finance, and there should be robust accounting standards for climate finance, in light of UNFCCC obligations. Several emphasised the Paris guidelines should ensure climate finance reaches the most vulnerable, and effectively addresses the loss and damage due to climate change.
- Local Communities and Indigenous Peoples Platform (LCIPP), and Gender Action Plan: Submitters widely supported participation in the LCIPP, and enhanced indigenous perspectives in the negotiations. Several respondents linked this platform and the Gender Action Plan to supporting the Sustainable Development Goals.
- New Zealand National Approaches to Negotiations: A number of submissions touched on tactical considerations in the negotiations, which officials will consider as New Zealand’s negotiating strategy is further developed and refined.