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Demonstration inside UN Climate Negotiations

Young New Zealanders Stage Demonstration inside UN Climate Negotiations
1400 (GMT -6H) 04/12/10

UN Climate Change Negotiations Cancun, Mexico - Young New Zealanders from the NZ Youth Delegation (NZYD) today joined other youth delegations, the Ecosystems Climate Alliance and the Indigenous Environmental Network to stage a powerful protest inside the conference against carbon accounting rules relating to forestry. The protest entailed inviting negotiators to hide their carbon emissions in the loopholes within this text by throwing balloons representing CO2 emissions through holes cut in a banner depicting forests.

The demonstration was held following a closed door meeting this morning where negotiators continued to discuss the rules, which could be finalized over the next few days. The text currently proposed is supported by the NZ government delegation and would enable countries such as New Zealand to evade accounting for up to one billion tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions from the destruction of native forests and peatlands.

Jessie Dennis of NZYD, says ‘Last year in Copenhagen, NZ announced a conditional target of a 10–20 % reduction in emissions by 2020. By not having to account for their forestry emissions, the amount of emissions needed to be reduced is effectively decreased, enabling NZ to cheat their way out of their responsibilities. Not only do these loopholes allow them to not account for emissions but it also enables them to collect credits which do not actually represent emissions reductions.’

Suzanna Remmerswaal of NZYD adds, ‘The NZ Youth Delegation is disappointed in our government’s conduct at these negotiations. The consequences of the decisions being made here in Cancun will be forced on young people and future generations and we demand that the behaviour of the negotiators here reflects the seriousness of these consequences.’

NZYD is a group of 12 young people aged 16 to 26 from around New Zealand who are attending the UN Climate Change Negotiations to represent NZ youth.


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