The IPCC report on 1.5˚C should be a wake-up call for the government as it negotiates the Zero Carbon Act with the opposition, says Coal Action Network Aotearoa.

The report, just released today, says C02 emissions need to be cut in half in the next ten years, and that – for the best chance of limiting warming to 1.5˚C – the world must cut primary energy from coal by 78% by 2030, and altogether by 2050.   This essentially means New Zealand must not contemplate building any new gas peaking plants, and needs to shut Huntly.

 It also notes that the adverse impacts from climate change will be far worse at 2˚C of warming than 1.5˚.  The IPCC SR1.5 has also stated that non-C02 greenhouse gases like methane need to be cut by 35% by 2050 – from 2010 levels. But it is also very clear that early action will be less dangerous and expensive than leaving it until mid-century. 

“Today’s report shows that limiting warming to 1.5˚C is feasible, but that strong action needs to happen right now.  This should be ringing in the ears of our Climate Change Minister James Shaw as he negotiates the Zero Carbon Act with the Opposition,” said CANA spokesperson Cindy Baxter. “He cannot cave to special interests over science.  This report should bolster his case for strong and early action.”

“The next ten years in terms of climate action are crucial.  Farmers are often among the worst-hit by climate change, so it’s in their own interests to look at making deep cuts in methane, and soon,” said CANA spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons.

“Fonterra, our second-largest coal user – has already committed to continue building coal-fired boilers until 2030.  This is simply too late.  The IPCC report gives greater urgency for Fonterra to dump all plans for coal boilers and look instead to the lucrative wood waste market for their future energy.  The sooner they move, the better off we’ll all be,” she said.

Link to Summary for Policymakers

IPCC SR15 special page (full report available)