NZ government under fire after dropping Kyoto Protocol commitment

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, November 9, 2012
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Climate Change Minister Tim Groser. [Agencies] 

The New Zealand government announced Friday it would not be signing up to a second commitment period on greenhouse gas emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, opting instead for a non-binding pledge.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser said New Zealand would take an emissions pledge under the United Nations Framework Agreement on Climate Change from Jan. 1 next year.

The controversial move would align New Zealand's climate change efforts with a group of developed and developing countries that were collectively responsible for 85 percent of global emissions.

These countries included the United States, Japan, China, India, Canada, Brazil and Russia.

"I want to emphasize that New Zealand stands 100-percent behind its existing Kyoto Protocol commitment," Groser said in a statement.

"We are on track to achieving our target indeed we are forecasting a projected surplus of 23.1 million tonnes. Furthermore, we will remain full members of the Kyoto Protocol. There is no question of withdrawing. The issue was always different: where would we take our next commitment under the Kyoto Protocol or under the Convention with the large majority of economies? We have decided that it is New Zealand's best interests to do the latter," said Groser.

"It is our intention to apply the broad Kyoto Framework of rules to our next commitment. This will ensure that at least New Zealand has started a process of carrying forward the structure created under the Kyoto Framework into the broader Convention Framework. This had been a point of principle of some importance to many developing countries. It would also mean that there would be no changes in domestic policy settings which had been modeled on the Kyoto Protocol rules."


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