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Increased cooperation with US on climate change

Increased cooperation with US on climate change

New Zealand and the United States will increase cooperation on areas of mutual interest concerning climate change, says Convenor of the Ministerial Group on Climate Change Pete Hodgson.

Mr Hodgson and Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula Dobriansky met in Washington today and agreed to enhance dialogue and practical cooperation on climate change issues.

"Both nations agree that climate change is a pressing issue requiring a global solution," Mr Hodgson said. "I have reiterated New Zealand’s commitment to the Kyoto Protocol and I have appreciated the opportunity for an update from Secretary of State Dobriansky on the United States' climate change policies and its approach towards international cooperation."

Both nations are signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the parent agreement of the Kyoto Protocol, and have cooperated in international negotiations as members of the "umbrella group" of nations.

Under Secretary of State Dobriansky and Mr Hodgson agreed that practical science-based cooperation, building on existing links such as the US/NZ Science and Technology Treaty, would be particularly valuable. The opportunities for increased cooperation might include: climate change science and monitoring in the Pacific;

* assistance to developing countries, particularly Pacific Island states;

* climate change research in Antarctica, where New Zealand has a close working relationship with the US Antarctic Programme;

* cooperation in the development of emission unit registries;

* greenhouse gas accounting in forestry and agriculture; and

* technology development aimed at carbon reduction technologies.

Specific areas of cooperation will be further considered and refined over the coming months by a working group of officials.

"I am pleased that New Zealand and the United States will continue to work together in a spirit of cooperation and partnership, despite the different approaches we have taken to the Kyoto Protocol," said Mr Hodgson.

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