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Durban agreement not enough to stop climate change

13 December 2011

Durban agreement not enough to stop climate change

The Durban agreement does not go far enough to avert dangerous climate change within our children’s lifetime, says Green Party climate change spokesperson Dr Kennedy Graham.

“The Durban agreement is a diplomatic mechanism that fails climate science. It will not reduce greenhouse gas emissions below the level needed and within the timeframe needed to avoid temperature increases,” said Dr Graham.

“There is no way that an agreement that doesn’t start until 2015, and doesn’t limit emissions until 2020, will contain global warming to within 2 degrees.

“Global emissions must peak between 2015 and 2017 and then reduce, but this agreement doesn’t start until after that.

“New Zealand, and the big emitters we side with at these negotiations like China, the US and India need to get serious about emissions reductions now.

“Copenhagen in 2009 was our critical chance. Then we said we’d do it in Cancun in 2010. Then it was to be Durban in 2012. Now it has been put off again until 2020.

“The New Zealand Government is siding with the biggest emitters, not those making the biggest effort to prevent climate change.

“Minister Groser has said we need to take account of our national circumstances and compare our efforts to the efforts of others — on both counts we do badly.

“Climate change is a shared problem. As a small country we are reliant on China, the US and others to reduce their emissions. We need to be siding with those countries pushing for strong global rules, as they will be of the greatest benefit to us.

“New Zealand should be an independent and principled voice for global carbon reduction.”

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