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NZ Far From Meeting Greenhouse Obligation

New Zealand As Far As Ever From Meeting Its Greenhouse Obligation

A year ago the Auditor General reported on New Zeeland’s efforts in meeting its obligations under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The report concluded “New Zealand has not fulfilled the main FCCC obligation to formulate and implement national policies to mitigate climate change through limiting human-induced emissions of greenhouse gases. A range of policy measures has been adopted, but the measures have been ineffective.”

What has happened since? asks the Environmental Defence Society.

EDS spokesperson Garry Law says, “Another year has gone past and the situation is very little different. New Zealand’s emissions continue to grow and there are no new measures in place to halt that. There has been lots of consultation but an outcome from that consultation seems as remote as ever.

“One outcome may be that the Government does very little but rely on the forest sink credits New Zealand will gain from the carbon taken up by new exotic forests and let emissions continue on a business as usual basis.

“Such a total reliance is not in the spirit of the Convention. Developed nations were supposed to take a lead. This is not taking a lead, it is free-riding, said Mr Law.

“Forest sinks are not a long term answer. It needs more and more land for forestry. There is a limit to this.

“New Zealand will have to defend its modest reduction target, its record on making real reductions and the very use of forest sinks in future climate negotiations. We risk losing a lot on our record to date.

“By inaction we risk a major shock in future. What is needed is a start on real reductions and soon, concluded Mr Law.


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