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NZ Govt fights for big polluters in Cancun

7 December 2010

NZ Govt fights for big polluters in Cancun

John Key’s Government will undermine New Zealand’s interests if it continues to support big polluters’ attempt to block a second Kyoto commitment period at Cancun, said the Green Party today.

“A legally binding global agreement to cut emissions is necessary to avert dangerous climate change and transition to a sustainable economy,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Minister for Climate Change Issues Nick Smith claims the Government supports legally binding emissions reductions, but actions speak louder than words.

“In Cancun, New Zealand has aligned itself with the bloc of big polluters, including the US, who continue to hinder progress to a binding Kyoto II-style agreement.”

Several informal negotiating blocs have emerged at Cancun: the EU countries, a group of 77 developing nations, and an ‘umbrella’ group of developed countries including New Zealand, Australia, US, Canada, Norway and Japan.

Both the US and Japan oppose a second Kyoto commitment period.

“Nick Smith says in Cancun the Government is seeking a ‘balanced package of decisions’ that build on the non-binding Copenhagen Accord.

“Voluntary agreements, like the Copenhagen Accord, disadvantage developing countries and developed nations that reduce their emissions quickly.

“They provide no incentive to achieve real progress on preventing the worst impacts of climate change,” said Dr Norman.

“It is in New Zealand’s best economic interest to have a binding global commitment to emissions reductions, and the Government should be working to achieve that in Cancun as they promised.”


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