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Experts call for urgent action to reduce NZ's high aviation emissions


Welliington, May 26
Experts have called for urgent action to reduce New Zealand's high aviation emissions which ranks sixth in the world in terms of per capita emissions.

New Zealand's total emissions rose 116 per cent from 1990 to 2019, reports Xinhua news agency.

This rapid growth path is incompatible with the Paris Agreement on climate change, according to research conducted by scholars from the Victoria University of Wellington and Massey University.

Reducing air travel is challenging for New Zealand considering its remote location, high proportion of globally dispersed families, tourism industry, and poor public land transport system, said the research article published on Friday on the Journal of the Royal Society of New Zealand.

While technological innovations have been proposed to reduce emissions, researchers said that none of these will lead to a significant reduction in the short to medium term, and that "the growth in air traffic seems likely to defeat even the most ambitious technological improvements".

Researchers called for a national aviation action plan including avoiding air trips or shifting them to lower impact modes of transport, noting the need for urgent action to ensure that aviation emissions remain permanently below 2019 levels.