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Iwi welcome Durban Agreement

Iwi welcome Durban Agreement

16 December 2011

Delivered by:
Dr. Apirana Mahuika (Chairman of Climate Change Iwi Leadership group – CCILG)
Chris Karamea Insley (Climate Change Advisor to CCILG)

In the lead up to the Durban climate change negotiations in South Africa, through submissions to the Emissions Trading System Review Panel and a series of regional hui, Iwi/Maori have been signaling consistent and strong interest in the development of New Zealand’s climate change policy and linkages to international Kyoto Protocol rules says Dr. Apirana Mahuika, Chairman of the Climate Change Iwi Leadership Group.

Iwi today represent a $37 billion part of the New Zealand economy with much of this interest concentrated in the primary sector. Therefore, it is vital we are actively engaged in the development of both domestic and international climate change policy development. If Iwi/Maori are to make well-informed and long-lasting investment decisions, overwhelmingly we need certainty about what the climate change rules will be says Dr. Mahuika.

While it remains early days still, the Durban agreement is critical to providing this certainty we will need about rules and particularly:

• Give Iwi certainty about the rules affecting our important forestry interests for the period after 2012. Flexible land use and harvested wood products rules were agreed. This is significant to Iwi;

• These and other rules agreed under the Kyoto Protocol give Iwi certainty for the period up to 2020, and set a benchmark for the future comprehensive legal instrument;

• Provide focus on the climate change issues facing our Pacific island neighbors who are especially vulnerable to the impacts of a warming planet; and,

• Advance the interests of all indigenous people of the world in respect of climate change.

The next 1 to 3 years will be important as we continue to actively participate in the definition of international and refined domestic (ETS) rules like flexible land-use, harvested wood products and NZU allocations, to ensure they do account for the significant interests of Iwi/Maori says Mr. Chris Insley, Climate Change advisor to the Iwi Leadership Group and member of the New Zealand delegation in Durban.

As well, during this period we will expect to see practical emphasis and commitment by government to a range of complimentary measures like those we have seen with the successful home insulation program delivered to Maori living in our hapu communities says Dr. Mahuika.

New Zealand is committing $10’s million into international programs like the Global Research Alliance for Agriculture and the Green Climate Fund. While these initiatives send useful signals from New Zealand internationally, practically they are unlikely to deliver anything meaningful to our Maori farmers facing entry into the ETS says Mr. Insley.

We need to see the same kind of investment into research and technology to find practical low emissions technologies and solutions for our Maori farmers and cleantech products and services arising from our significant sector interests and certainly in the renewable energy sector says Mr. Insley.

Markets are important. Iwi today are among the largest recipients and generators of NZU’s in New Zealand and therefore the development of robust and transparent markets and trading mechanisms for these units is a key interest for Iwi/Maori. This will remain a key focus for ongoing international negotiations.

In the mean time and concurrently, the government dialogue underway with Australia and other countries in time towards linking systems is important to Iwi to see this advance says Mr. Insley. It is encouraging to Iwi to see developed and developing countries, small, large and very large countries uniting to combat global warming says Dr. Mahuika as this translates to increased confidence and certainty for Iwi and Maori where we have very high exposure and interest.

Mr. Insley says; the Durban agreement was put together under enormous pressure where the date for the next Kyoto commitments still needed to be finalized. The negotiations for the long-term regime beyond 2020 will be long and arduous; the Durban texts will contain problems and issues that cannot be seen clearly at this stage and why Iwi will continue to take an active interest in these negotiations next
planned for Qatar in 2012.

Finally, the Durban agreement that unites more and more countries of the world to combat global warming, and the success of the National Government in recent elections with the reappointment of Ministers Hon. Tim Groser and, Hon. Dr. Nick Smith as Ministers for International climate change negotiations, and Environment respectively, taken together provide me with a high level of comfort and confidence that as Iwi we do not face major changes in international rules or, in our domestic climate change policy says Dr. Mahuika.

I will be meeting soon with Minister Nick Smith to discuss the outcomes from the Durban negotiations and agree 2012 climate change planning and feedback from our regional hui with Iwi.


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