Wellington: New Zealand is struggling to control its carbon emissions and move to a low-carbon future, the government said Wednesday.
An inter-ministry Natural Resources Sector briefing spelt out the country's position and targets on climate change and carbon-reduction efforts, The New Zealand Herald reported.
The briefing said New Zealand is "off track" in transitioning to a low-carbon future in spite of increasing international pressure to cut emissions.
New Zealand had projected an emissions reduction target of 50 percent below 1990 levels by 2050.
However, the country's emissions have increased since 1990 and continue to rise.
Key challenges for the country include undertaking responsible growth to meet international expectations, adapting to the expected impacts on infrastructure, biodiversity, biosecurity and the primary sector, and transitioning to a low carbon economy.
Decisions were needed on the best policy mix for New Zealand to achieve this transition, which would include carbon pricing and regulatory measures to cut emissions in the country and buying carbon credits overseas, the report said.
Climate change policy is linked to transport, energy, forestry and agricultural policies, all of which needed to be "better aligned".
The briefing described New Zealand's emissions as small globally, although the country had the 22nd highest per capita emissions in the world.
The Green Party reacted by claiming that the government's climate policy was "failing New Zealand".
"These projections are embarrassing, they undermine the climate and our clean (and) green image," climate spokesperson Russel Norman said.