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Tuesday, February 2

NZ joins Copenhagen Accord on climate change

The Government today announced that New Zealand is joining the Copenhagen Accord on climate change and is submitting its existing conditional 2020 target range.

“The Copenhagen Accord is a constructive step forward to developing a comprehensive global deal on climate change,” Climate Change Issues Minister Nick Smith said.

“Joining this accord reinforces New Zealand’s ongoing commitment to doing our fair share to resolving this global problem.”

Minister Responsible for International Climate Change Negotiations Tim Groser said New Zealand was disappointed the Copenhagen conference did not make progress on a comprehensive and legally binding agreement.

“What this accord does is provide a framework for more progress to be made,” Mr Groser said. “It aims to set a limit on the temperature rise to 2°C, improves the transparency for developing countries to list their mitigation targets and actions, and acknowledges the need for new mechanisms for funding and technology.”

Under the Copenhagen Accord developed countries have to submit details of their proposed emissions target for 2020. New Zealand has submitted a conditional emissions reduction target range of 10% to 20% below 1990 levels by 2020.

These conditions are:


* a global agreement that sets the world on a pathway to limit global temperature rises of not more than 2°C



* comparable efforts by other countries



* actions by advanced and major emitting developing countries fully commensurate with their respective capabilities.



* effective rules governing land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF)



* full recourse to a broad and efficient international carbon market


“New Zealand’s 2020 target will be less than the -10 to -20% range in the event that these conditions are not met as has been previously stated publicly and in international negotiations,” the Ministers said.

“For our 2020 target to be representative of our fair share, other developed countries will need to set higher targets. Alternatively, New Zealand will need to reduce its target to ensure comparability.

“New Zealand joining the Copenhagen Accord sits well with our Emissions Trading Scheme, our international initiative for the Global Research Alliance on agricultural emissions and our wide range of complementary climate policies.”Copenhagen Accord: