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Greenpeace response to emissions reductions target

Greenpeace response to Government announcement of public consultation on emissions reductions target for Copenhagen

Auckland, 26 June 2009 -- The Governments announcement to hold a public consultation on the target of emissions reduction that NZ should adopt at the UN climate talks at Copenhagen in December, shows that New Zealanders’ voice on climate change does matter, says Greenpeace.

“New Zealand must do its fair share to save the planet and not what is politically convenient, it’s become that serious”, said Simon Boxer Greenpeace Climate Campaigner. “What's needed is an emissions reduction target of at least 40 per cent by 2020 on 1990’s levels.” he said.

Climate change is happening faster and with much greater consequence than scientists expected only a few years ago. The latest official world climate science congress (1) made it very clear – to avert catastrophic climate change will require all developed countries like New Zealand to adopt a 40 per cent reduction target by 2020 on 1990™s emission levels. Any other emissions reduction target would mean that the narrow window left to avert catastrophic consequences would close.

“An emissions reduction target by NZ which is less than 40 per cent by 2020 would signal to the world that New Zealand is not prepared to do its bit to save the planet. New Zealand’s international standing and its clean and green image, upon which many jobs in New Zealand depend, would be extremely damaged.

“Greenpeace believes that the Government knows that the right thing to do is sign on to a 40 per cent reduction target with the rest of the developed world at Copenhagen, but it needs the support of New Zealanders to do this. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions are vital for New Zealand to prosper economically in the future. Many ofᾠthe solutions at hand are also good for us and our pockets, as demonstrated by home insulation policies, which mean warmer healthier homes with lower energy bills.

Over 56,000 New Zealanders have already joined the Greenpeace Sign On campaign, which aims to generate an unprecedented level of support for John Key to sign on to a 40 per cent by 2020 emission reduction target at the UN climate talks in Copenhagen in December. The Sign On campaign was launched one month ago. A wide range of high-profile New Zealanders are backing the campaign, including Lucy Lawless, Rhys Darby, Cliff Curtis, Robyn Malcolm, chef Peter Gordon, Warehouse founder Stephen Tindall.

Actress Keisha Castle-Hughes, also a Sign On ambassador, is currently in the Pacific documenting the huge impact climate change is having on people’s lives there – her blogs are at http://www.signon.org.nz/news.

ends

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