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Hodgson to Morocco for climate talks

Friday, 02 November 2001 Media Statement

Hodgson to Morocco for climate talks

Pete Hodgson, Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change, departs for Morocco on Sunday to represent New Zealand at a world conference on climate change.

The negotiations come amid a major public consultation programme on climate change being conducted by the Government.

The conference is the Seventh Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, or COP7 for short. The Sixth Session began at The Hague in November last year and concluded successfully in Bonn in July this year.

Ministers at the conference in Marrakesh aim to complete and adopt full legal texts on the rules for implemening the Kyoto Protocol, a supplementary agreement to the UNFCCC that sets greenhouse gas emission reduction targets for developed nations. New Zealand's target is to stabilise emissions at 1990 levels over the 2008-2012 commitment period or trade emission permits to meet any difference.

"The Government intends to ratify the Kyoto Protocol next year, with a formal decision to be taken after the current consultation period," Mr Hodgson said. "At these negotiations it will be important to ensure that the agreement reached in Bonn is not unravelled in the detail of the legal texts. Success at this conference will produce a complete international legal basis on which countries can ratify the protocol.”

Mr Hodgson said key issues for New Zealand were the adoption of texts providing for legally binding consequences for compliance breaches, and the adoption of texts providing for recognition of forest carbon sinks. "New Zealand has consistently argued for rules that are easy to understand and hard to break, because tough rules are essential to the protocol’s environmental integrity.”

Mr Hodgson returns to Wellington on Tuesday 13 November.

ENDS

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