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NZ sets 10-20 percent emission reduction target by 2020

- Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The New Zealand Government has announced that the nation's national emission reduction target for 2020 will be to reduce emissions by between 10% and 20% of 1990 emission levels by 2020.

The 10% target is presumably the minimum level to be achieved, while the 20% level is conditional on a comprehensive international agreement being achieved at the forthcoming Copenhagen climate change negotiations in early December. In announcing the target, NZ Climate Change Minister Nick Smith noted the challenge New Zealand faced. "The target is a big ask for NZ because our gross emissions are already 24% above 1990 levels."

Given that in NZ, agricultural emissions account for approximately 50% of the national inventory, this suggests that a major effort will be required of NZ agriculture in meeting this target.

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