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NZ's clean green image takes another hit

NZ's clean green image takes another hit

Auckland 22 November 2007 - New figures showing New Zealand is among the worst in the industrialised world for emission increases are not surprising, says Greenpeace.

"We've known for many years that despite its clean green image, New Zealand has an appalling record when it comes to emissions," said Climate Campaigner Susannah Bailey. "The greenhouse gas intensity of our economy is one of the highest in the OECD and our greenhouse gas emissions per capita are in the top 12 countries worldwide."

"We urgently require a strong domestic emission reduction target of at least 30% emission reductions from 1990 levels by 2020 and 80-90% by 2050. All sectors must take urgent steps to reduce their emissions. This includes the agricultural sector, which accounts for nearly half of New Zealand's greenhouse gas emissions and has increased its emissions by about 17 percent since 1990."

The New Zealand Government also needed to to push for strong global targets when it goes to Bali in two weeks time to negotiate the Kyoto Protocol's second round, she said.

"The effectiveness of New Zealand's much-heralded emissions trading scheme beyond 2012 is almost wholly reliant on the outcome of these negotiations, because it's these negotiations that will set the global price on carbon.

"As it currently stands the emissions trading scheme is conservative, gradual and extremely generous to trade-exposed emitters like the agricultural industry. Government officials have been very open about the fact the scheme is not designed to reduce New Zealand's emissions, but rather to meet our international obligations at least cost. This approach needs to shift. We need to meet our international obligations AND achieve major cuts at home.

"The Labour-led government needs to ensure that its climate change policies aren't just window dressing. Bali will be the real test of its commitment.

"The New Zealand delegation must push for a global emissions reduction target that keeps warming below two degrees. The IPCC itself specifies a range of between 25 and 40 per cent reductions below 1990 levels by 2020 for developed countries like New Zealand."

ENDS

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