New Zealand is committed to working with the rest of the world to combat climate change. This page provides information on current activities and initiatives.

Talanoa – join the dialogue

Talanoa is a traditional word used in Fiji and recognised across the Pacific to convey the idea of inclusive and open dialogue. The purpose of Talanoa is to share stories, ideas and skills – to build empathy and motivation to make wise decisions for the collective good. 

Despite almost every country in the world committing to the Paris Agreement, the emission reductions committed under our combined nationally determined contributions (or targets) are not enough to achieve the agreed temperature limit goal.

So, in the context of the international climate negotiations, the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue aims to help countries boost their ambition in setting and updating their emissions reduction goals in 2020. This is because Talanoa enables participants to build trust and knowledge.

Talanoa rejects criticism and blaming others. Instead, it fosters inclusiveness and stability. Talanoa engenders empathy and mutual respect, creating a way forward for making decisions for a greater good.

Fiji has framed the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue around three key questions on climate action:

  • Where are we?
  • Where do we want to go?
  • How do we get there?

 

Talanoa  

How to take part in the Talanoa Dialogue

At the UNFCCC’s May 2018 meeting in Bonn, the outgoing and incoming conference presidencies – Fiji and Poland – invited countries and non-state actors to share their stories over the year. The stories and themes that come out of this will shape a Ministerial-level Talanoa planned for COP24 in December 2018.

The presidencies describe the Talanoa approach and provide more detailed questions and templates for each of the three key questions.

See these on the Talanoa Dialogue Portal (external link).

We encourage New Zealanders to make submissions to the Talanoa Dialogue through the portal. You can do so as individuals, groups or organisations. Full information on how to make a submission is on the portal. The Ministry is also interested in your submissions so please send us a copy (feedback@mfat.govt.nz). Your views will inform our own engagement with the Talanoa Dialogue.

Our international climate change 2018 negotiating mandate

Read the Cabinet paper approving the negotiating mandate [PDF, 2.2 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 want 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.

 

Zero Carbon Bill

The Government received more than 14,500 submissions on it's proposed Zero Carbon Bill for New Zealand. The Bill will see New Zealand put a bold new 2050 emissions reduction target into law, and establish an independent Climate Change Commission to keep us on track to meet our goals.

The Ministry for the Environment is working through all of the feedback from around the country and next steps to draft a Bill that will be enduring. Keep up to date on progress of the Zero Carbon Bill here:

Zero Carbon Bill consultation (external link)