'Very poor' rating triggers criticism on NZ climate policy

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The New Zealand government was criticized for its climate policy on Monday after an international monitoring group rated its climate performance as "very poor."

The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI), produced by the Germany-based Germanwatch, ranked New Zealand at 42 of 58 highest emitting countries and regions in its overall assessment of climate protection performance in its climate policy category.

the CCPI report noted that "New Zealand joined the bottom five this year."

"Hopefully improvements will be observed in the international efforts of New Zealand, Canada and Turkey next year, which currently lag far behind," said the report.

The opposition Green Party said the government's position on climate change was "part of the global problem that we need to overcome if we are to avoid catastrophic climate change."

"Official New Zealand government projections show New Zealand's net greenhouse gas emissions are expected to increase by over 50 percent in the next decade. We can't credibly claim to be taking serious action on climate change when the plan is to increase emissions by 50 percent in a decade," Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said in a statement.

Last week, documents from the New Zealand Treasury were published, warning the country's failure to take action to cut greenhouse gas emissions could cost between 3 billion and 52 billion NZ dollars (2.32 billion and 40.3 billion U.S. dollars).

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