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Trade must be part of the climate change solution

Hon Phil Goff
Minister of Trade


7 December 2007
Media statement

Trade must be part of the solution to climate change

Trade Minister Phil Goff leaves today to take part in a Trade Ministers’ Dialogue on Climate Change Issues this weekend in the margins of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change event.

“Trade ministers are going to Bali to emphasise the need for trade to be part of the solution to climate change.

“Trade measures will likely be part of the response to climate change. While not a negotiation, this meeting will be a “brainstorming session” on key issues and policy instruments serving the links between trade and climate issues

“New Zealand has long been active in the WTO and elsewhere in pushing for outcomes that would help the environment.

“In the Geneva negotiations we have taken a lead role in pushing for freeing up trade in environmental goods. They include some – such as renewable energy technologies – that directly support climate change goals.

“We have also been active in work aimed at ensuring that necessary environmental measures, including responses to climate change, can operate in harmony with global trade rules”, Mr Goff said.

The trade and environment agenda also went well beyond climate change.

“A big environmental test for the WTO is whether we can get action on subsidies that are contributing to the crisis in global fisheries.

“The proposals released in Geneva a week ago mean that WTO members will now have to face up to that test”, Mr Goff said.

Mr Goff said that the Bali meeting came at an important juncture in the international climate change negotiations.

“We must face up to the reality that what happens in the global economy will have direct implications, for better or worse, on our climate. The extent of these linkages cannot be ignored.

“Trade rules are basically compatible with environmental objectives, including climate change. Where climate change is concerned we now need to be able to agree on concrete steps that can be taken within the trade agenda in support of urgent climate change objectives.”

Mr Goff also expects to discuss the current state of the WTO Doha round with ministerial colleagues attending the meeting.

ENDS

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