Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang released a joint statement committing both countries to working together more to address the impacts of climate change.

New Zealand-China Leaders' statement on climate change

Beijing, 1 April 2019

New Zealand and China consider addressing climate change an imperative more important than ever. Through the 2014 Arrangement on Climate Change Cooperation and the 2017 Implementing Arrangement on Strengthening Cooperation on Climate Change, and the present Statement, New Zealand and China reaffirm their commitment to political, technical and scientific cooperation on climate change.

The two sides welcome their ongoing productive technical exchanges on international climate change negotiations and cooperation on climate actions, and look forward to the Third Ministerial Dialogue on Climate Change and technical discussions to be held in New Zealand this year, and are committed to regular and frequent exchanges on these issues. They also welcome the attendance by both sides at the Asia-Pacific Carbon Markets Roundtable in April 2018 and look forward to further cooperation in this forum.

Both sides underline their desire to achieve green, low-carbon and resilient societies, in keeping with the collective goal of the Paris Agreement. The two sides welcomed the conclusion of the Paris Agreement Work Programme at Katowice in December 2018. They acknowledge the imperative of the robust regime that ensures all parties to the Paris Agreement are transparent and accountable for their climate action and support, and that parties’ contributions show progression through time. New Zealand and China are committed to a successful conclusion of negotiations on international carbon markets and non-market approaches ensuring environmental integrity, and other technical issues. Both sides expressed ongoing concern at the findings of the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5 degrees published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in October 2018. Both sides recognise enhanced action by all parties is crucial for the effective implementation of Paris Agreement and enhancing support for developing countries is critical to this end. They underscore their commitment to the full and effective implementation of the Convention and the Paris Agreement, and to fulfilling their respective Nationally-Determined Contributions.

New Zealand and China recognise the significance of respective recent developments in national climate change efforts, including New Zealand’s Zero Carbon Bill which provides for an emissions reduction target for 2050 with emissions budgets setting out the path to this target, a range of adaptation measures to respond to climate change challenges, and the establishment of an independent Climate Change Commission and a Green Investment Fund to accelerate investments that lower greenhouse gas emissions; and New Zealand’s commitment to a just transition to a low emissions future and convening a Just Transition Summit in May 2019; and including China’s establishment of national carbon emission trading system, a series of proactive mitigation actions which makes China already exceed the 2020 target of reducing carbon intensity by 40%-45%; and China’s commitment to continue to implement proactive national strategies on climate change, work on its mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategy, to communicate, by 2020, to the secretariat of UNFCCC, to continue its cooperation with the Global Adaptation Commission and promote the global adaptation actions, and to implement the policies and actions on climate adaptation in China.

Recognising the importance of enhanced climate actions to transition towards a low emissions economy, both sides emphasise their commitment to strengthen their cooperation on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and fostering climate resilience through policy exchange, expert dialogue and best practice sharing; exploring and enhancing cooperation on mitigating agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, where both sides affirm their commitment to the Global Research Alliance on Agricultural Greenhouse Gases. Both sides agree to explore opportunities for cooperation on electric vehicles as a means to reduce transport emissions; and emphasise their commitment to cooperation under the Electric Vehicle Initiative of Clean Energy Ministerial.

Both sides recognise the importance of the reform of fossil fuel subsidies, which will bring both economic and environmental benefits, thereby supporting their shared global commitment to sustainable development.

Leaders welcome the initiative of the United Nations Secretary-General to convene a Climate Summit in 2019. The Summit will allow for political impetus and widespread participation to accelerate collective progress on global climate actions. Both sides will strengthen their cooperation in the preparation of nature-based solutions theme under the Summit co-led by New Zealand and China, as well as demonstrate their actions and achievements in related other themes to make their contributions to the successful Summit.