Government Deceiving New Zealanders on Climate Change Shut out of Main Action through Counterproductive Policy

Kennedy Graham, MP, Press Release, 9 Dec.

The Government is deceiving New Zealanders on its climate change policy, and has been shut out of much of the action over the next 8 years, as a result of a counterproductive policy at the UN negotiations at Doha, said Green MP, Kennedy Graham today.

Dr Graham was commenting at the end of the conference which finished a day late on Saturday.  In the final outcome, New Zealand appears to be shut out of access to the carbon market operated under the Kyoto Protocol, at the least from 2016 to 2020, through its refusal to enter a second commitment period with legal obligations to cut emissions between 2013 and 2020.

“This is a disgrace for New Zealand”, said Dr Graham who has been attending the talks.  “It will go down as one of the worst foreign policy mistakes any NZ Government has made for many years”.

“As a result of their policy over the past year, John Key and Tim Groser have made New Zealand a pariah in the international community on the most important issue humanity is facing.

“Even more stunning, Minister Groser has the gall to spin the outcome to the public in a manner that is downright shameful.

“In his comment at the end of the talks, Mr Groser makes no mention of the fact that New Zealand is to be excluded from access to Kyoto’s carbon credit market and flexible mechanism because of its decision against a 2nd legal commitment.  And he advances two mistakes in his public rationalisation.

“He claims the ‘key requirement’ is to refocus attention beyond the Kyoto Protocol to a long-term agreement.   Such an agreement will not start until 2020.  The 2nd Kyoto period covers 2013 to 2020. Europe and Australia have signed up to that. The scientific community and the UN itself have acknowledged that global emissions must peak before 2020 to avoid dangerous climate change.

It may be lost on Mr Groser but the UN resolution calls for ‘immediate and far-reaching action’.

“Then he derides the Kyoto group as representing only 14% of global emissions. That is because the developed countries are the only ones required to cut emissions immediately.  Mr Groser is lumping in all the developing world, from China and India to Tuvalu and Nauru.  That is remarkably offensive, given the small island states, supported by African and Southeast Asian countries have been pleading with New Zealand to reverse its decision and recommit to a second legally-binding cut.

“Being excluded from access to trading and the project mechanisms would harm New Zealand’s economic interests as much as any policy-decision this Government has yet made.  It would be politically-stupid, morally offensive, and economically harmful, and come to haunt us in the coming years.

“John Key and his climate change lieutenant need to acknowledge they have made a mistake and reverse course.  They need to front up and get things fixed, and fast”, said Dr Graham.

12/09/2012 – 21:17


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