We rate New Zealand’s NDC emissions target 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 are 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 emission levels in 2030, the rating would also be “Insufficient”.
If the CAT were to rate New Zealand’s long-term target, we would rate it “Highly Insufficient”. It is not consistent with holding 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 3°C and up to 4°C.
Further information about the risks and impacts associated with the temperature levels of each of the categories is available here.