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Is New Zealand Really Committed To The Kyoto Protocol?

1 December 2011

Durban, South Africa (1/12/11) –

The official New Zealand Government delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiations in Durban, South Africa has made it clear that support for a second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol is “not unconditional”.

Using other countries’ refusal to commitments as justification to avoid New Zealand’s own obligations is a tenuous and inadequate excuse; justifying a conditional commitment with reference to the positions of other states renders the negotiations a house of cards. A state’s refusal to commit should not result in the collapse of a legally binding agreement among other states.

These talks are not like trade negotiations where a reflective period or hiatus on action is acceptable. New Zealand, as an active member of the international community, particularly in the Pacific, must step forward and commit irrespective of other states’ positions.

Climate change is a real problem. The science is proven, the effects visible and an equitable binding solution required.

ENDS



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