Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

PM - Remarks at launch of ACCTS Initiative


Ko Ranginui ki runga,

Ranginui is the sky father above

ko Papatuanuku ki raro

Papatuanuku is the earth mother below

Ko nga Atua tamariki katoa kei waenganui

Their many god children between

Na ratou e tiaki ana te oranga o te whenua

Together they ensure the land is cared for

Tihei mauri ora

Prime Ministers, Vice Minister, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is a pleasure to be here with my counterparts from Fiji, Iceland and Norway, and the Vice Minister of Foreign Trade from Costa Rica, to jointly announce the launch of a first-of-its kind and forward-looking initiative, an ‘Agreement on Climate Change, Trade and Sustainability’, or “ACCTS” – a truly apt acronym.

There is an urgent and critical need for increased global action if we are to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

It is New Zealand’s view and the view of the countries that stand here together today, that trade policies, practices and rules have an important and substantive role to play, and now is the time to use them.

The case for using trade rules to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies is particularly compelling.
Globally, we are subsidising fossil fuel production and consumption to the tune of over $500 billion US dollars a year.

This is the height of policy incoherence on an issue where we can’t afford to carry on the mistakes of the past.

We must act. We must change.

And countries have committed to act: ten years ago the G20 countries stated their commitment to reform. APEC Leaders have similarly and regularly reaffirmed the same commitment.

And yet, subsidies to the fossil fuel industry over the past decade show no signs of reducing, let alone elimination. In fact in recent years they have grown.

The five of us believe it is now time to put the rhetoric aside and do something real, and something immediate.

The establishment of rules on this type of harmful subsidy spending establishes a framework to finally hold us to account.

Commitments on elimination show what can be done when countries understand the sense of crisis and urgency and demand to see tangible progress.

Just as trade rules are used in the WTO context to address industrial and agricultural subsidies, they have an important role to play here also.

While we will continue to make the case for multilateral action, the five of us are ready to act.

That is real change. And that is what our populations expect us to deliver - to make our rhetoric real.

In addition to commitments to reform and eliminate fossil fuel subsidies, the five of us will also:

• Eliminate tariffs on environmental goods and make new binding commitments on environmental services; and

• Develop best-practice guidance to assist the development of guidelines for voluntary eco-labelling programmes.

The elimination of tariffs on environmental goods and new commitments on environmental services will mean these products will become cheaper for consumers and producers in each of our countries – accelerating access and uptake, and thus helping to improve the environment.

The ACCTS initiative calls on us to envisage what modern trade rules equipped to support the climate change challenge could look like.

Our vision is an enforceable trade agreement of treaty status. One that is transparent, supportive of multilateral rules, open to all who can meet the required standard and that demonstrates in a substantive manner how trade measures can support and drive climate and environmental objectives.

Our hope is that these kinds of initiatives, beginning first with a small group of countries, and then with an expanding membership, will create the momentum to eventually lead to multilateral solutions – our shared overarching goal.

The issues this initiative will tackle are not easy and it will require real changes by each of us.

We have started, and we now ask other countries and governments to do the same.

Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tātou kātoa

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Campbell on: the local body election result in Wellington

For obvious reasons, politics is more of a big deal in the capital city than anywhere else in the country. Even so, fewer than four in ten eligible voters bothered to vote in Saturday’s local body elections in Wellington (turnout 39.66%).

Even less was felt to be at stake this time around than in 2016, when 45% of the electorate voted Justin Lester into the mayoralty.

To put it mildly, the Lester-led Council failed to live up to expectations. Lester will be remembered mainly for the fact that somehow, he managed to lose this election. . More>>

 
 

Could Do Better: Post-Sroubek Review Of Deportation Info

Ms Tremain acknowledges that the review highlighted some aspects of the process that can be improved and makes five main recommendations to strengthen the existing processes for preparing files for decision-makers. Those recommendations are: More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On A New Book On The Leaky Homes Scandal

We all know that journalism is short of cash and under pressure from the speed, brevity and clickbait pressures of the 24/7 news cycle… but hey, given the right subject and a sufficiently stubborn journalist, it can still surpass most of the works of the academic historians... More>>

Regulation: Review Finds NZTA Road Safety Failings

The independent review, carried out by consultant agency MartinJenkins, lists at least 10 reasons for the failures including the agency being focused on customer service at the expense of its policing functions. More>>

ALSO:

Rod Carr: Climate Change Commission Chair-Designate Announced

Climate Change Minister James Shaw has today announced the appointment of Dr Rod Carr as Chair-designate for the Climate Change Commission. More>>

ALSO:

Compliance Complaints: 'Putting Right' Holidays Act Underpayment In Health

The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark. More>>

ALSO:

IPCA: Disasterous Police Pursuit, Excessive Use Of Dogs

At no stage did Police follow the correct procedure for the commencement of a pursuit... A Police dog handler used his dog to help with the arrest of two of the young people. One suffered injuries resulting in his hospitalisation, and the Authority found that the use of the dog was an excessive use of force. More>>

ALSO:

‘Hard Place To Be Happy’: Report On Youth Residential Care

Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft says the report, A Hard Place to be Happy, contains important challenges from children and young people, aged 9 to 17, about their experiences in care and protection residences. “I found this report extremely difficult to read, and I think most New Zealanders would too.” More>>

Africa And Middle East Refugees: 'Family Link' Restriction Removed

The founder of the Double the Quota campaign has applauded the coalition government for Friday’s announcement that a discriminatory policy would be removed. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels