Nats refuse to commit to emissions target at Cancun
The Green Party is deeply disturbed by the New Zealand Government’s statement today that it will not commit to specific
greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets unless it gets its way on dubious forestry rule changes.
“The National-led Government’s abandonment of a specific emissions reduction target at the COP 16 climate conference
unless it gets changes to forestry rules is a shockingly irresponsible act,” Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman
New Zealand’s statement to the conference released this morning states that ‘New Zealand's emissions are so sensitive to
variations in forestry rules that we cannot commit to a specific future target until they are clear’.
“The Government seems to be saying it will only commit to emissions reductions if forestry accounting rules make it
possible to cheat,” said Dr Norman.
A report released last week showed that a logging loophole in accounting rules allows emissions increases to be hidden,
and that New Zealand stands to gain more from this loophole than any other rich Annex 1 country: a 45 percent increase
in national emissions could be left off the books.
“To face the challenge of climate change we need actual reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
“New Zealand has some of the highest per capita greenhouse emissions in the world. If this Government won’t agree to an
emissions reduction target, how can we expect other countries to step up to the mark? We have become part of the problem
rather than part of the solution.
“If New Zealand doesn’t play its part, fairly and honestly, we will lose credibility on the world stage, and we will
lose our valuable clean green image,” said Dr Norman.