A special report on global warming, released today, has laid out a strong case for countries to make every effort to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, says the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw.
The special report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warns that a host of climate-related risks – from sea level rise, to food and water supplies, security and health issues – will be worse if global temperatures rise to 2 degrees rather than 1.5 degrees.
The report also warns that the next two decades are crucial in limiting global warming to 1.5deg as opposed to 2deg.
The IPCC says it is likely that global warming will reach 1.5deg between 2030 and 2052, if warming continues at the current rate.
“The good news is that the IPCC’s report is broadly in line with this Government’s direction on climate change and it’s highly relevant to the work we are doing with the Zero Carbon Bill,” Mr Shaw said.
“The report shows the clear global benefits of maintaining efforts to limit global warming to 1.5oC.
“It says the goal is challenging but achievable but it also says that the pace of transition to low-emissions needs to step-up and be far reaching.”
Bronwyn Hayward, Associate Professor in Political Science at Canterbury University, was a Lead Author for the report.
Andy Reisinger, Deputy Director of the NZ Agricultural Greenhouse Gas Research Centre is a member of the IPCC Bureau.
New Zealand Government departments have reviewed drafts of the report.
A New Zealand delegation was present at IPCC talks on the report in South Korea last week.