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Govt to consult NZ’ders on climate target

Govt reveals plans to consult NZ’ders on climate target

With only five months to go until the crucial UN climate talks in Copenhagen, the New Zealand Government has announced another delay in setting an emissions reduction target.

New Zealand Climate Change Ambassador Adrian Macey has just told delegates from 180 countries meeting in Bonn that the Government will consult New Zealanders on setting an emissions reduction target for 2020.

It plans to consult between now and August, then announce the target.

“Ambassador Macey’s announcement will disappoint many countries here at the Bonn talks, who had expected New Zealand to have a target by now. That target is now very overdue,” Greenpeace New Zealand’s political advisor Geoff Keey said from Bonn.

“Greenpeace trusts this is not just another excuse for delay, but a serious attempt to involve the public in making an ambitious offer in the climate talks.

“At the end of March, New Zealand reneged on its promise to deliver a target as part of the negotiations, with Ambassador Macey saying the Government was too busy reviewing the Emissions Trading Scheme,” Mr Keey said.

“Here in Bonn, it just looks like yet another excuse from the New Zealand Government. Someone today asked me if New Zealand was taking the piss out of the negotiations.”

Greenpeace, and a wide range of high-profile New Zealanders, are calling for New Zealand to commit to a 2020 target of 40%. See www.signon.org.nz. Nearly 50,000 New Zealanders have already Signed On to the 40 by 2020 ask.

“We’re already on track with our own public consultation and hope that the Government recognises this during the coming months,” said Keey.

In response to today’s announcement by Ambassador Macey, Greenpeace outlined conditions for a genuine consultation, saying the Government must review its 50% by 2050 target as part of the process.

“The 50/50 target is not enough to be our fair share, let alone be at the level needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change,” Mr Keey said.

The Government would also need to inform New Zealanders that:

• New science shows climate change is happening far faster than anyone thought and that cuts by developed countries of 40% or more are needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

• Many countries want New Zealand to commit to 45% cuts by 2020, including all of New Zealand’s Pacific neighbours.

• A majority of countries want New Zealand to commit to 40% cuts by 2020

Note to editors:

Preconditions for a proper consultation process

1. All targets need to be on the table, including the Government’s current 50% by 2050 target
2. The Government needs to provide information to all New Zealanders about the latest science on climate change that shows global warming should be kept below 1.5 degrees to avoid dangerous levels of climate change
3. The Government should inform all New Zealanders about the level of effort that other countries around the world are asking New Zealand to make
4. The Government should explain to New Zealanders what it will do if other countries expect New Zealand to do more than the Government is willing to agree to at Copenhagen.


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