Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Speech: Key Addresses Copenhagen Conference

Hon John Key
Prime Minister

17 December 2009

New Zealand statement to the Joint High-level segment of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the Conference of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol

Madam President, Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen.

New Zealand came to Copenhagen with great hope of achieving a binding agreement that had developed and developing countries working together to respond to the challenges of climate change.

We thank the Danish Government for their generous hospitality and huge effort to help achieve this end.

It is sobering to have reached this point of the conference without having made progress on the major issues necessary for a comprehensive, effective, and legally binding global climate change agreement.

The global deal
Any new climate change deal must shift from a system of limited participation to comprehensive global coverage.

For this to be achieved, we need international commitments from all major emitters that accommodate diverse national approaches to mitigation and adaptation.

At this conference we need leadership from the major economies; they need to listen to the voices of vulnerable nations that are facing the harsh realties of climate change.

For New Zealand we are acutely aware of the challenge climate change poses for our pacific island neighbours.

A clear and firm signal must be sent to the world. We must change attitudes, drive low-carbon development, spur innovation and deployment of technologies, and influence priorities for finance and investment.

A new global deal must be durable – with in-built capacity to evolve over time – to keep up with scientific knowledge, technological breakthroughs, and economic and social development.

Undoubtedly, as this conference has demonstrated, the scope of the challenge is enormous.

New Zealand actions
New Zealand is committed to doing its fair share in the global effort, including taking responsibility for emissions reductions and contributing to international finance and technology support.

New Zealand’s emissions profile is heavily influenced by agriculture and forestry, and our efforts include a special focus on these sectors.

We are the only country in the world that has introduced an emissions trading scheme covering all greenhouse gases and all sectors of the economy, including agriculture and forestry.

At the international level, we are advocates of setting the right accounting rules for the agriculture and forestry sectors.

Rules are essential for ensuring environmental integrity and for giving countries the confidence to set ambitious targets.

The wrong rules could significantly undermine New Zealand’s future as a food producer to the world for no environmental gain.

We must also avoid inefficient rules that constrain the carbon market. An open, global carbon market is crucial for maximising global emissions reductions.

Agriculture and the Global Research Alliance
Globally, agricultural emissions equate to those from every car, truck, train, aeroplane and ship yet have received insufficient attention and very little research focus.

We have long been leaders in agricultural technology and efficiency. We are unique among developed countries as agricultural production is the backbone of our economy and accounts for half of our emissions.

Food security is a priority for all countries. The world population is projected to reach nine billion by 2050. To support this number of people, world food production needs to double.

That is why yesterday New Zealand launched with 20 partner countries, including the US and India, a new Global Research Alliance on agricultural greenhouse gasses.

The Alliance brings developed and developing countries together on the dual challenges of food security and climate change.

The Alliance will allow countries to better coordinate, collaborate on, and fund research into mitigation solutions for the agricultural sector.
New Zealand has been delighted with the support for the concept received so far, and looks forward to advancing the Alliance in partnership with other countries.

Mr President, after years of planning for this conference and now weeks of talking here in Copenhagen, the time has finally come for leaders to reach an agreement.

Now is the time for us to set aside our differences and to collectively map a pathway forward.

Now is the time for every country to give a little, so we as a world can gain a lot.

Progress will require commitment, compromise and cash.
But now is the time for us all to face the reality: that of all the options on the table at Copenhagen, failure is the one we can all least afford.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>


Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>


Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>


Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>

NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>

Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>




InfoPages News Channels