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UN climate change negotiations to begin in Bon

Hon Dr Nick Smith
Minister for Climate Change Issues

Hon Tim Groser
Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues (International Negotiations)

27 March 2009 Media Statement

Next round of UN climate change negotiations to begin in Bonn

New Zealand will join the next round of United Nations negotiations on a future international climate change agreement in Bonn, Germany, from 29 March to 8 April, says Minister for Climate Change Issues, Nick Smith and Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues, Tim Groser.

“The Bonn meeting will have a special focus on agriculture, which produces almost a fifth of global annual greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Groser said.

“Agriculture faces a unique set of challenges: feeding a growing world population, different practices across countries, and technology limitations. We need the next climate deal to pay more attention to this important sector.

“At Bonn, New Zealand will participate in a workshop on the challenges and opportunities for reducing emissions from agriculture.

“New Zealand has proven expertise, and we want to work more closely with other countries to grow the global research effort in this area.”

Dr Smith says that the international community needs a long term global goal to aim for.

“New Zealand supports a global goal of long-term stabilisation of all greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a concentration of no higher than 450 parts per million of carbon dioxide equivalents. This goal will be kept under review based on latest available intergovernmental assessments of science,” says Dr Smith.

The Bonn meeting will provide an opportunity to outline New Zealand’s ’50 by 50’ goal, a 50 per cent reduction of net greenhouse gases from 1990 levels by 2050.

“New Zealand will be looking to contribute in ways that make sense for us and recognise the features of our country and how we make a living. However, we will not finalise our international commitments until we know what costs are involved, and what rules apply,” Dr Smith says.

The next major conference will take place in Copenhagen in December.

ENDS

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