Climate change: New Zealand's annual emissions report shows 'limited progress' - James Shaw
Related video: Kids explain why climate change matters. Credits: Video - Newshub; Image - Getty New Zealand is making "limited progress" to reduce its emissions but not nearly quickly enough, with Climate Change Minister James Shaw claiming the scale of what is needed goes beyond what current policies can achieve. Shaw's declaration follows the release of the latest annual report on the country's greenhouse gases . The New Zealand Greenhouse Gas Inventory provides the most up-to-date information regarding how much work needs to be done to make an impact on climate change. The annual report provides the official estimates of all human-generated greenhouse gas emissions and removals that have occurred in New Zealand since 1990. It covers carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases. "Narrowing the gap between where we are now and where we need to be is the difference between handing our children a better world, or more crises in the future," Shaw said in a statement on Tuesday. "People are understandably worried about their immediate future, which is why we must continue to do everything we can to reduce the economic pressures [that] people and businesses... are facing. However, we can do that in a way that also helps the climate." "When we look at the pathway to zero net emissions by 2050, there are two things that stand out from this report - firstly, we have a long way to go, but secondly, that the scale of what is required goes beyond what current policies will achieve," Shaw explained. "Building on our track record of progress is going to be crucial if we are to solve climate change and create a better future for our kids and grandkids." Shaw also highlighted the measures introduced by the Labour Government in the fight against climate change, claiming that successive governments have long acted with "little regard" for the environment. The report does not show what impact COVID-19 has had on emissions. As it takes about 15 months to collect and analyse the data for each year and prepare it for the inventory's publication, the impacts of COVID-19 won’t be fully known until the 2022 inventory. "We have an opportunity to change the quality of our economic growth and reduce its impact on the climate," Shaw said. "Our goal is to transition to a net-zero carbon economy in a way that gives people good job opportunities and certainty about how they will provide for their families."