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John Key hints at leadership at Copenhagen

John Key hints at leadership at Copenhagen

Auckland Friday 18 December 2009- Greenpeace today welcomed the positive tone of John Key’s opening speech to the climate change negotiations in Copenhagen (1) and urged him to back his words with a fresh approach to the negotiations.

“Key’s words stand in stark contrast to the unacceptable language used this week by his Climate Negotiations Minister Tim Groser,” said Greenpeace Executive Director Bunny McDiarmid. “This is a sign that he is starting to listen to public opinion back home and grasp the seriousness of the climate crisis.

“He now needs to back his pledge to listen to the voices of vulnerable nations and to the science, and commit to a 40% by 2020 target and urging other countries to join him in raising their targets too. It’s clear without this kind of bold move, our future is extremely bleak.”

A United Nations report leaked to Greenpeace today concludes that the emission cut pledges currently on the table would lead to a 3 degree warming of the globe (2), even under the most optimistic assessment of the targets. That will be disastrous for low lying states like Tuvalu and Bangladesh, devastation for Africa and the possible collapse of the eco-systems that billions of people rely on.

“This week New Zealand Government ministers refused to put a 40% target on the table, ignored the pleas of Tuvalu, bashed vulnerable small island states and tried to get new rules that would give the country carbon credits for free. And now we learn from an interview that the Government’s climate change negotiations minister appeaῲs to have given up"

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“Now is the time for John Key to take control and recover what has been a bad week for New Zealand in the climate change negotiations," said McDiarmid.

(1) http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/3174723/Keys-Copenhagen-speech

(2) http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2009/dec/17/un-leaked-report-copenhagen-3c

ENDS

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