NZ aims to share knowledge at climate talks

People pose for a picture inside the venue of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
People pose for a picture inside the venue of the COP24 UN Climate Change Conference 2018 in Katowice, Poland, yesterday. Photo: Reuters
New Zealand's delegation to climate change talks in Poland is looking for a ''triple win'' of increased agricultural productivity, reduced greenhouse gas emissions and strengthened resilience to climate change impacts, Climate Change Minister James Shaw says.

The UN-sponsored conference in the Polish city of Katowice is under way in an attempt to action the international community's commitments to cutting global warming emissions, as agreed in Paris in 2015.

Mr Shaw is at the head of a large delegation of government officials, but the New Zealand presence also includes ''non-official'' agriculture industry representatives from the likes of Federated Farmers, Dairy NZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand.

They are fronting a series of ''Act!on Agriculture'' events alongside the main UN COP24 conference, focused on how the world will produce enough food for a growing population while meeting Paris Agreement goals.

''Agriculture's part in the global climate response is vital and has special relevance for New Zealand, but we're not alone,'' Mr Shaw said.

New Zealand's efficiency in food production meant it had much to offer but it also had a lot to learn.

''That's why we have included a range of experts from our agricultural sector in the wider delegation. New Zealand will be taking what we learn back to our domestic sector, and we hope other countries will do the same.''

To stay within the Paris limit of 2degC of global temperature rise, it has been estimated global emissions from agriculture need to reduce by about 1 gigatonne of CO2 equivalents a year by 2030, a cut of about 15%.

The presence of the farming lobby representatives was not a sign New Zealand would be seeking concessions for its agriculture sector, Mr Shaw said.

''No. It's about showing New Zealand's willingness to share knowledge and experience as part of a collective effort to address agricultural emissions.''

The agriculture industry representatives were not involved in the main COP24 negotiations, he said.

A top priority for New Zealand at the conference was reaching agreement on a ''rule book'' for implementing Paris Agreement commitments that was ''robust, transparent and has environmental integrity'', Mr Shaw said.

All countries also needed to look at the commitments they made in Paris in light of the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Special Report on keeping warming to 1.5degC, he said.

''The report is clear that the current levels of [nationally determined contributions] that have been communicated by countries will not be enough to limit warming to 1.5degC.''

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