Hundreds of people turned out at a meeting in Auckland on Wednesday night, called by the Government to consult on greenhouse gas emission targets.
Climate lobbyists from Greenpeace were among those at the meeting to push for what they call a radical and rapid move to stringent targets.
Environment Minister Nick Smith said New Zealand is emitting about 24% more than its 1990 carbon emission levels.
Greenpeace wants a 40% reduction of these levels by the year 2020.
Executive director Bunny McDiarmid says anything less would signal that New Zealand is not prepared to commit.