The Government must have an open mind and be ready to join forces with world leaders at Copenhagen and make bold, fair and binding commitments to fight climate change, said the Green Party today.
“The time for action is now, we are at tipping point – global emissions need to start heading down in the next five years to avoid runaway catastrophic climate change,” said Green Party MP Jeanette Fitzsimons.
“Our hope is that John Key will step up at Copenhagen and change his Government’s short-sighted and inadequate response to climate change,” said Green Party MP Kennedy Graham.
“New Zealand’s commitment needs to be bold because the science tells us that only deep cuts to global emissions, soon, will meet the agreed goal of limiting warming to under two degrees. National have agreed to the under two degree goal but will miss it by a mile under current policies,” said Ms Fitzsimons.
The share required of the developed countries is to reduce by 25-40% below 1990 levels by 2020.
“New Zealand’s highly conditional target of 10-20%, but only if other countries agree to everything else we want, simply doesn’t cut it,” said Ms Fitzsimons.
“There is a lot that New Zealand can do to make big cuts to our carbon emissions at a reasonable cost. In the long run this will help put the New Zealand economy on a sustainable footing and will maintain our priceless clean green reputation,” said Ms Fitzsimons.
The Copenhagen agreement needs to be fair if large developing countries are to sign up at all.
“China, India and Brazil are now very large emitters as countries, although their emissions per person are still much lower than ours. They need to limit the growth in their emissions, but will not do so if the richer countries fail to
move further,” said Dr Graham.
The Copenhagen agreement must be binding – so it is internationally enforceable. Countries will not make serious commitments if they think others can be free riders. We must agree to sanctions for those who do not meet their commitments, just as we have in the Kyoto protocol for the period 2008-12, said Dr Graham.
Green MPs Jeanette Fitzsimons and Kennedy Graham are leaving on Thursday for Copenhagen. Where they intend to keep the NZ delegation honest and advocate for bold, ambitious and binding commitments to prevent runaway catastrophic climate change.