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New Zealand awarded a second ‘Fossil of the Day’ award

17/11/16

For immediate release

New Zealand awarded a second ‘Fossil of the Day’ award thanks to dodgy carbon credits

New Zealand has been awarded a ‘Fossil of the Day’ award for the second day in a row thanks to its reliance on dodgy carbon credits in the past while maintaining that it cares about the integrity of international carbon markets.

New Zealand is one of the foremost supporters of international carbon markets. Climate Change Minister Paula Bennett has expressed her support for the development of high-integrity international carbon markets, speaking on the topic to other Ministers at the High Level Segment and speaking at a side event focusing on this at COP22 today.

Despite discussions around high-integrity international carbon markets, New Zealand intends to rely on benefits drawn from their historic use of ‘dodgy’ carbon credits to meet their unambitious goal of an 11% emissions reduction below 1990 levels by 2030.

“Paula Bennett herself has admitted that the surrender of the millions of dodgy emissions reductions units to meet New Zealand’s obligations under the Kyoto Protocol was not the ‘right thing to do’,” New Zealand Youth Delegation member Erica Finnie says.

“Credits such as these have been shown by the Stockholm Environment Institute to represent little, if any, actual emissions reductions. The use of these dodgy credits — with no associated emissions reductions — in the past, has allowed New Zealand a surplus of ‘legitimate’ credits. These credits may now be used to meet its 2020 emissions reduction target without taking any real domestic action. New Zealand needs to up its game and cancel an equivalent number of carbon credits if the Government wants to prove their commitment to environmental integrity and transparency.”

Fossil of the Day is awarded daily at United Nations climate change conferences. During the conferences, members of the Climate Action Network (CAN) vote for countries judged to have done their ‘best’ to block progress in the negotiations. New Zealand was awarded their first Fossil of the Day award for the year yesterday for showing blatant hypocrisy in the face of fossil fuel subsidy reform.

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