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Te Whanganui-a-Tara – The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) show the world can halve emissions by 2030.

The report says 85 per cent of net growth in greenhouse gases since 2010 has occurred in Asia and the Pacific – and that New Zealand, Australia and Japan, as a group, had some of the highest rates of GHG emissions per capita in 2019.

The latest insights from the IPCC are clear and the case for action couldn’t be any stronger or more urgent.

As a country which relies on the environment for so much, addressing climate change is essential.

Aotearoa’s emissions reduction plan, which will be released next month. It will set out how we to reduce emissions across every sector of the economy.

In the last four years the government has taken more climate action than in the previous three decades combined.  

The IPCC report which focuses on the prevention of further warming says both domestic action and international co-operation are critical if New Zealand is to reduce emissions and prevent a catastrophic increase in global temperature.

Globally, between 2010 and 2019 average annual greenhouse gas emissions were at their highest levels in human history, but the rate of growth has slowed.

Without immediate and deep emissions reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach.

However, there is increasing evidence of climate action, the latest IPCC report says.

Since 2010, there have been sustained decreases of up to 85 percent in the costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy.

The planet is at a crossroads. The decisions Kiwis and the rest of the world make now will help to secure a liveable future.

Limiting global warming will require major transitions in the energy sector. This will involve a substantial reduction in fossil fuel use, widespread electrification, improved energy efficiency, and use of alternative fuels (such as hydrogen).

Cities and other urban areas also offer significant opportunities for emissions reductions. These can be achieved through lower energy consumption, such as by creating compact, walkable cities, electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature. There are options for established rapidly growing and new cities.

Agriculture, forestry, and other land use can provide large-scale emissions reductions and remove and store carbon dioxide at scale. However, land cannot compensate for delayed emissions reductions in other sectors.

It’s now or never if people want to limit global warming to 1.5°C.