New Zealand

Critically Insufficient4°C+
World
Commitments with this rating fall well outside the fair share range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government targets were in this range, warming would exceed 4°C.
Highly insufficient< 4°C
World
Commitments with this rating fall outside the fair share range and are not at all consistent with holding warming to below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government targets were in this range, warming would reach between 3°C and 4°C.
Insufficient< 3°C
World
Commitments with this rating are in the least stringent part of their fair share range and not consistent with holding warming below 2°C let alone with the Paris Agreement’s stronger 1.5°C limit. If all government targets were in this range, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C.
2°C Compatible< 2°C
World
Commitments with this rating are consistent with the 2009 Copenhagen 2°C goal and therefore fall within the country’s fair share range, but are not fully consistent with the Paris Agreement. If all government targets were in this range, warming could be held below, but not well below, 2°C and still be too high to be consistent with the Paris Agreement 1.5°C limit.
1.5°C Paris Agreement Compatible< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s efforts are in the most stringent part of its fair share range: it is consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.
Role model<< 1.5°C
World
This rating indicates that a government’s efforts are more ambitious than what is considered a fair contribution: it is more than consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

Fair Share

We rate New Zealand’s NDC emissions targets as “Insufficient.” The “Insufficient” rating indicates that New Zealand’s climate commitments are not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and are instead consistent with warming between 2°C and 3°C. If all countries were to follow New Zealand’s approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C. This means New Zealand’s climate commitments are at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort, and is not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5˚C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort.

The CAT ratings are based on climate commitments in NDCs. If the CAT were to rate New Zealand’s projected emissions levels under current policies, we would rate New Zealand “Highly Insufficient,” indicating that New Zealand’s current policies are not consistent with holding warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and are instead consistent with warming between 3°C and 4°C: if all countries were to follow New Zealand’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. This means New Zealand’s current policies are not in line with any interpretation of a “fair” approach to the former 2°C goal, let alone the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit.

If the CAT were to rate New Zealand’s long-term target, we would rate it from “Insufficient” to “Highly Insufficient” to hold warming to below 2°C, let alone limiting it to 1.5°C as required under the Paris Agreement, and is instead consistent with warming over 2°C and up to 3°C.

Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories is available here.

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