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Environment Minister to chair OECD meeting

Environment Minister to chair OECD meeting

Environment Minister Dr Nick Smith leaves today for Paris, where he will this week be chairing the fourth yearly OECD meeting of Environment Ministers.

“Environmental issues transcend national borders and require strong international cooperation. The major issues for discussion include water, climate change, biodiversity, air pollution, waste and resource use efficiency. Specific international issues will be the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“The strength of the OECD is that the 35 member countries are similarly developed and have much to learn from each other in improving environmental management. It also provides a smaller forum than the UN for addressing international environment issues enabling a freer exchange of ideas and best practice. The OECD’s particular expertise is how good environment management can be achieved alongside strong economic performance.

“It is a privilege to be chairing this Environment meeting, the first time for a New Zealand Minister. My selection for this role reflects that New Zealand is well respected within the OECD for its environmental record.”

The Minister is also scheduled to have separate bilateral meeting with the Environment Ministers of Norway and Chile. The Minister is also participating in a think tank of current and former OECD Environment Ministers on improving environmental performance.

Dr Smith is leaving on Sunday 25 September and returns to New Zealand onSunday 2 October.

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