Reader call-out: What should New Zealand prioritise in meeting its climate goals?

New Zealand and its prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, have garnered headlines around the world recently in praise of their stance on climate change. But experts have pointed out that ambition has not always translated into action.

This month Ardern declared a climate emergency, with the PM calling it “one of the greatest challenges of our time” and pledging that government agencies would be carbon-neutral by 2025.

Last year she announced that New Zealand was on the “right side of history” after it passed landmark legislation committing the nation to zero emissions by 2050 and trying to keep global warming in check.

But, in the wake of the climate emergency declaration, Robert McLachlan, a professor of applied mathematics at Massey University, pointed out that New Zealand’s net emissions actually rose between 1990 and 2018 and that its 2030 targets will also allow net emissions to increase.

So what can New Zealand do to meet its goals and what should it prioritise? Should it demand more of the agricultural sector, the country’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter and whose methane emissions are exempt from its zero emissions goal? What about investing in public transport? Or does the answer lie in smaller contributions from individuals, such as eating less meat and avoiding waste? We want to hear from you so please get in touch using the form below.