Actually New Zealand is not officially an Australian State, that’s just a constitutional provision for the inevitable. While they are still pretending complete autonomy they signed up for the Kyoto Protocol and even attempted some implementation. Now (surprise) they have noticed they’re trying to lead where no one else will follow
Action plan for climate change delay
MICHAEL DALY Last updated 15:38 02/02/2012
Government departments are considering New Zealand’s options in light of the “real risk” of an extended delay in agreement on a new international climate change regime.
In a briefing to incoming ministers, the Ministry for the Environment said this country’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol’s first commitment period end this year.
A delay was likely before any new agreement was reached that imposed legally or politically binding obligations
For New Zealand to join a new agreement, it would need to be fair, involving comparable national efforts, as well as being affordable and provide certainty.
Despite the uncertainty, the minstry said that after 2020 it remained likely that New Zealand would face an international framework that required significant greenhouse gas emissions reductions.
That would be challenging given New Zealand’s unique emissions profile and projections, which showed New Zealand’s gross emissions rising substantially to 2050 and beyond, it said.
The conditional emissions reduction target for now was for a cut in emissions by 10 per cent to 20 per cent of 1990 emissions by 2020.
It was unlikely New Zealand’s conditions for that target would be met before 2020.
“Ministers will need to decide what level of ambition New Zealand needs to demonstrate in the period to 2020 to be credible.”
The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry briefing noted that agriculture-based food production contributed 47 percent of New Zealand’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
No methods were available to significantly mitigate methane from ruminant livestock, the principal source of greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture.
For now farmers did not face any reporting or emission obligations under the emissions trading scheme , the Government’s key economic instrument for meeting international climate change obligations.
Whatever the outcome of negotiations for a post-2012 international climate change regime, MAF expected global mitigation efforts to continue.
The key question was the rate and magnitude of those mitigation efforts, it said.
With an uncertain international environment there was a real risk of an extended delay in realising a comprehensive agreement after 2013.
“We are currently considering the implications and issues associated either with a gap in international commitments or the effect of a set of negotiating decisions that would see a transition towards a new international framework in 2020,” MAF said.
“It is probable that significant uncertainties will persist and therefore difficult judgements on climate change policy will be required from ministers over the next couple of years, including in the primary industries portfolio.”