The Prime Minister wants other countries to cover New Zealand’s climate change responsibilities while we shirk doing our fair share, the Green Party said today.
“New research this week shows that even if every country meets its stated emissions reduction target, we won’t be able to keep global warming below 3.5 degrees,” Green Party Climate Change Spokesperson Jeanette Fitzsimons said.
“This would be a disaster. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that an increase of just two degrees could cause runaway catastrophic climate change.
“The IPCC advises that we need targets averaging between 25 and 40 percent below 1990 levels from developed countries if there is to be any chance of keeping global warming below two degrees. New Zealand has committed to a mere 10-20 percent, and even that is conditional on getting everything else we want.
“This means other countries will have to make up our shortfall. “When I asked the Prime Minister which countries he thought should commit to a target higher than 40 percent in order to offset New Zealand’s failure to act, he just said ‘countries that will find it easier than us’.
"I will challenge the Prime Minister to name those countries during Question Time today. “Mr Key’s answer yesterday shows that the Government is trying to shirk New Zealand’s responsibility to do our fair share on climate change. “He also told the House yesterday that he has the authority to change New Zealand’s target but he has already ruled out increasing it.
“The Copenhagen climate talks are the most significant international negotiations of our time, and the Prime Minister is going into them inflexible, and determined to do the bare minimum so that New Zealand can freeride off the commitments that other countries make.
“Meanwhile there is plenty we could be doing to reduce New Zealand’s emissions. The Green Party’s Green New Deal package released last week outlines measures that could result in 33.6 million tonnes of CO2 emissions being offset in the ten year period from 2010 to 2020 from forests alone,” Ms Fitzsimons said.
Ms Fitzsimons and fellow Green MP Kennedy Graham leave for Copenhagen tonight, where they will hold the New Zealand delegation to account and advocate for bold, fair and binding commitments to prevent runaway catastrophic climate change.