United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) emerged as one of the Earth Summit’s results in 1992, when countries agreed to jointly collaborate to limit global temperature increases and mitigate other impacts of climate change. The purpose of the Convention is to stabilize Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emission at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human induced) interference with the climate system (UNFCCC 1992). As part of global commitment, New Zealand has set two national targets for reducing its GHG; (1) medium-term target of a 10 to 20 per cent reduction in emissions below 1990 levels by 2020, and (2) long-term target of a 50 per cent reduction in net greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050 (Ministry for the Environment 2009). New Zealand advancement in translating this MEA into national and local policy has been well recognized, though its effectiveness has not significantly presented, especially in agriculture sector.
People often associate climate change with global activities such as burning fossil fuels, pollution, glacier melting, and various other greenhouse gasses.
At another point, local authorities are expected to include GHG emission reduction on their policy statement and regular plan (1991). Correspondingly, information and guidelines were provided by Ministry for the Environment (2004, 2008, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2010) to enable local authorities and communities to address climate change mitigation and adaptation. As result some regional and district/city councils have completed their climate change assessment impact (Ministry for the Environment 2009). Indeed, councils of Nelson City (2008), Palmerston City (2011), South Waikato (2008) and Wellington City (2010) have published their climate change action plan. Though, the effectiveness of local government effort in GHG reduction is questionable since most of the capacity, in term of financial and human resource, gathered at the national level. In spite of capacity shortage, scientific barriers and uneven level of awareness, many of local authorities are still actively engaging in emissions reductions in their respective regions and inserted climate change related effort on their report (Reisinger, Wratt et al. 2011).
New Zealand implements GHG emission mainly sits on its existing program, policies and structures. The Ministry for the Environment is taking a leading role to coordinate overall climate change program within various central government agencies and to report the progress as required by UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol (Climate Change Information New Zealand 9 August 2012). Other ministries are responsible to plan and implement emission reduction on their own sector, such as Ministry of Transport (2011) for transport, Ministry of Primary Industry (2007) for agriculture and forestry, and Ministry of Economic Development (2011) for energy. The reporting mechanism at the national level is well managed as division of role and responsibility is clear, institutional capacity is sufficient, and financially backed up. Some ministry are reporting GHG emission reduction regularly, for instance New Zealand’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory (Ministry for the Environment 2012), Greenhouse Gas Emissions on energy sector (Ministry of Economic Development 2012), and a snapshot of decreasing amounts of carbon dioxide on Ministry of Transport’s (2012) annual report.
The policy transformation from the Convention into national and local policy has been found effective in influencing institutional strengthening but the progress of GHG emission reduction against expected target is an uncertain. A review conducted by Jens Hoff (2010) identified some institutional strengthening evidence at local level, such as; various new department or position in charge for climate change were become available at some councils, climate change mitigation and adaptation have been include into the council‘s long term strategic plan, and increasing level of community awareness on climate change. On the contrary, the GHG emission trend is keep rising, especially on energy and agriculture sector. Although energy sector have shown significant progress through supply of renewable energy from geothermal generation, extra attention toward reduction of GHG emission should be made on agriculture sector (Ministry for the Environment 2012). In 2007, Nick Wilson and Molly Melhuish (2007) have warned that New Zealand is a relative left behind to respond to the threat of climate change compared to other developed countries. The same message is echoed by group of health professional, they urged for government’s immediate and bold action on climate change (Metcalfe, Woodward et al. 2009).
Climate change is causing devastating problems for the world’s essential resources because it is increasing extreme weather patterns which is decreasing energy production and transportation and is causing agriculture to suffer....
A new wave of climate change, bringing warmer temperatures and more extreme storms, began to catch the attention of scientists sometime in the late 20th century.
What’s it going to take? When will our stated concerns about the planet and our communities translate into significant, collective action? The dragon of climate change isn’t going to wait for us to get our act together. Its fire is already burning some of us. In my view, only radical change will prevent it from burning us all.
Climate change has many environmental impacts on biodiversity, projected future changes are likely to result in changes in the distribution of species and ecosystems, and overall biodiversity loss....
The five most prevalent of these lines of evidence are: radiative forcings, climate models, correlations, observed changes in climate systems above the norm, and unnatural changes in the earths natural variation such as rising ocean temperatures and levels....
The greatest challenge now is identifying hat is affecting the climate most strongly, and in what ways, as well as how these effects will become more important in the future.
Given that the vast majority of Americans seem to agree that dangerous climate change is happening, you’d think their actions would reflect that. Yet, when it comes to urban and suburban design, and how we all live together, it’s basically baby steps in the face of an oncoming dragon.
It is happening." -- James Hansen Climate change, specifically in reference to C02 Emissions released by human use of fossil fuels and their consequential effects on the environment, is perhaps one of the most pressing issues we, not just as Americans, but as human beings face in our lifetimes....
New growth theory argues that innovations, population growth, new technology, and creative destruction are connected to each other and that these connections will solve the climate change problem.