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Sunday, January 31

Two days for Government to make climate change commitment


The Government has just two days to make a serious commitment to reduce emissions under the Copenhagen Accord, the Green Party said today.

“The government’s failure to participate in the Accord negotiations casts doubt about their seriousness in tackling climate change,” Dr Russel Norman, Green Party Co-Leader said.

Nations that acknowledged the Copenhagen Accord have until January 31st to submit their commitments to reduce emissions, in order for the negotiations to proceed.

“Incredibly, our Government has openly admitted that it is unwilling to make a commitment under the Copenhagen Accord because it is worried about restrictions on the ability of countries to meet targets by importing emissions credits,” Dr Norman said.

“If every country takes the approach of importing carbon credits rather than actually cutting domestic emissions, then we will fail to cut greenhouse emissions globally. Our children will inherit the result” Dr Norman said.

“This is the clearest indication yet that John Key has no strategy to reduce emissions domestically. Instead of wasting billions on a holiday highway, he should invest in solutions that reduce greenhouse emissions - like public transport, vehicle fuel economy standards and energy efficiency, as outlined in the Green Party’s Getting There document.

While January 31st is likely to be a soft deadline, and the Accord itself is far from ideal, the more nations that put forward commitments, the greater the momentum for climate change talks.

“The Green Party calls on the relevant Ministers to declare a peak year for New Zealand’s emissions, to make the 20% target unconditional and to outline a sectoral approach to tackling emissions.”

“We need to step up and be part of these negotiations” Dr Norman said.