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NZ climate change targets rated ‘inadequate’

06 October 2011

NZ climate change targets rated ‘inadequate’

As preparation for the Durban climate change talks takes place in Panama this week, the Green Party observed today that the Government’s targets have been rated as ‘inadequate’ by an internationally respected institute.

“The Government can take bold action to reduce emissions and create green jobs, but at the moment it is dragging its heels,” said Green Party spokesperson on international climate change issues, Dr Kennedy Graham.

Dr Graham said the internationally respected group, Climate Tracker, had rated New Zealand's commitment to decrease emissions to 10-20 percent below 1990 levels as ‘inadequate’. The group recently published a study showing a significant gap between pledged emission reduction targets and the reductions necessary to avert catastrophic climate change.

“New Zealand is among the five worst countries in the OECD for per capita greenhouse gas emissions.

“The Government’s Emissions Trading Scheme will reduce emissions less than one percent compared to business as usual. Worse still, the Government is planning for an energy future based on mining dirty lignite coal and deep sea oil drilling.

“Nations such as Tuvalu and Kiribati are already experiencing the impact of sea level rise and acidification.

“New Zealand is rushing to aid Tuvalu and Tokelau with fresh water shortages this week. Whether or not that is a direct result of climate change, we should recognise that in the long term these islands are at significant risk from climate change. We need bold action now, not timid promises for tomorrow.”

New Zealand is participating in talks this week in Panama to prepare for the annual Conference of Parties (COP 17), which will take place in Durban this December.

“I ask the Government to clarify its position going into the COP17 talks in Durban this year,” said Dr Graham. “Will New Zealand be arguing strongly for a binding agreement to limit warming to 2 degrees?

“We want our own children and grandchildren, along with Pacific Islanders, to live on a planet with a stable climate.”

Link to Climate Tracker analysis of New Zealand:


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