Despite signing the Paris Climate Agreement, a global agreement setting future emissions targets to mitigate climate change, New Zealand’s gross greenhouse gas emissions have not yet decreased significantly. However, the country has recently introduced the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill in order to ensure the country can implement clear and stable climate change policies.
The agriculture industry is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the country. Significant quantities of methane, nitrous oxide and carbon dioxide are generated from livestock farming. Research into how to reduce these emissions is continually being done, however more work is still required in order to develop safe and reliable methods of reducing methane that can be used on farms while maintaining integrity in the farming practices in New Zealand.
Around 70 percent of New Zealanders were very concerned or extremely concerned about climate change in the country in 2018. Furthermore, around 55 percent of the country believe the country is moving in the right direction in terms of how it is approaching climate change mitigation. On an individual scale, New Zealanders are consuming products more mindfully. For example, consumers are eating less meat on average compared to a decade ago, citing price, health issues as well as sustainability concerns as reasons for this change. The country has seen a shift to using more renewable energy sources to meet its electricity demand, which will contribute to its emissions reductions in coming years.