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New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders

29 July 2014

New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders

New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today.

Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today in Palau.

The Finance Minister of the Cook Islands stated that climate change and frustration at the lack of action on it will be running themes at the Forum. He said there was a strong feeling that New Zealand was not doing enough to help their Pacific Island neighbours.

“John Key cannot hide behind the flawed logic of ‘New Zealand is too small to effect change’, when Pacific leaders are explicitly calling New Zealand out for his lack of action,” said Green Party climate change spokesperson Kennedy Graham.

“The Forum last year called for a 10-20% reduction in carbon emission by 2020, but John Key’s Government only committed to a 5% reduction.

“John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.

“The Pacific Islands have done the least to contribute towards greenhouse gas emissions but are disproportionately being affected by their adverse effects.

“Many New Zealanders have family members in the Pacific Islands, so we have a duty of care to ensure they are not punished for being our neighbours.

“Under National’s policies, New Zealand’s net emissions are set to increase by 50 percent in the next 10 years and we are the fifth-highest per capita emitters in the developed world.

“The Green Party has been leading the call on climate action in New Zealand for a long time.

“Our Climate Protection Plan will achieve carbon neutrality for New Zealand by 2050 and our carbon tax will, at the same time, cut taxes for business and put money back into households.

“Not only will the Green Party’s Climate Protection Plan make New Zealander’s better off, it will also help the Pacific,” said Dr Graham today.

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