INDEPENDENT NEWS

Tim Groser – ‘not expecting’ failure at UN climate talks

Published: Sun 22 Nov 2015 01:39 PM
Climate Change Issues Minister Tim Groser – ‘not expecting’ failure at Paris UN climate talks.
‘I will be very surprised if we don’t get an agreement. I think it’s a completely different situation to Copenhagen for a number of reasons. We’ve got a much more realistic negotiating proposal on the table. Secondly, I think the science has strengthened. I think there’s a much wider sense of understanding now outside Europe, which was leading the charge there.
‘And I think, in a paradoxical way, this absolute tragedy in Paris puts very high stakes on the international community coming together on something as important as this.’
Minister Groser told TV One’s Q+A programme that the NZ proposal is not an attempt to water down any agreement.
‘.. the commitment itself, if you did not reach it, would not be a breach of international law, and there’s a very strong reason for that, and that is we’ve learned the lessons from Kyoto, where the US Senate threw it out 95:0. If we put forward a comprehensive agreement that requires the Senate approval, it is DOA. We’re not going to make that mistake again.’
CORIN So New Zealand could effectively sign up to the agreement, and then we suddenly find in 15 years’ time that it’s costing us $20 billion in carbon credits, and you can welch out of it.
TIM And an agreement without the United States and China is not worth the paper it’s written on, because they’re responsible for nearly 40% of the emissions.
When asked how New Zealand is going to meet its target, Mr Groser said, ‘It will cost us a lot of money. It’s cost us over $30 billion, or about $1350 per household in terms of the modelling that’s been done for the government. So, yes, it is not cheap. But this is by 2030-
‘but most of all, what New Zealand needs – and this is where I becoming, actually, more and more optimistic, if we’ve got a 10-, 15-year time horizon – is we need technologies to solve the 70% of our emissions that are so difficult for us, and they are in transport and agriculture,’
When asked about our emissions from agriculture, Minister Groser told the programme, ‘New Zealand produces the least emissions per unit of output than any country in the world.’
‘Yes, we can shoot the cows. It would make the climate worse, because the demand would have to be met by more carbon-inefficient countries and it would destroy your income and my income and all the New Zealander’s income who depend on having an efficient export industry. You can’t just kill off New Zealand’s export industry and not expect this country to go into a tailspin
Everyone who produces food produces carbon, NZ produces less carbon for food - makes more climate sense to produce here.’
Q+A, 9-10am Sundays on TV ONE and one hour later on TV ONE plus 1. Repeated Sunday evening at 11:35pm. Streamed live atwww.tvnz.co.nz
ends

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