Government shows astonishing disregard for Paris agreement

The National Government’s statement that it will not change New Zealand’s climate target and policies shows astonishing disregard for the Paris climate agreement and the global commitment to limiting warming to well below 2 degrees, the Green Party said today.

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser this morning dismissed calls for New Zealand to increase its climate target, or to make serious changes now that will reduce our climate pollution.

“It is astonishing to hear Government ministers say they’ve got no intention of making the changes the world needs to limit global warming, just hours after signing up to a promise to keep it below 2 degrees,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“Today I’ve heard from New Zealanders who were so proud that we played a part in the historic Paris agreement, but who are now angry to hear the Government is not intending to do anything about it back home.

“It’s not ok for the Government to bask in the glory of the Paris agreement then carry on as usual when it gets back home.

“World leaders like Barack Obama have celebrated the Paris agreement as signalling the end of the fossil fuel era, while our Prime Minister said he has no intention of even stopping oil exploration off our shores.

“New Zealand’s climate target, if adopted worldwide, would see the planet heading for 3 to 4 degrees warming. Even then, Government officials admit that National’s policy settings don’t get us anywhere near our targeted cuts. In fact, under the Government’s policy plan, our climate pollution is set to “increase significantly”.

“In 2016 the Government should commit to:

  •         Clean transport: fast tracking the City Rail Link so Auckland start the transition away from congested roads and fossil fuelled transport  
  •         Clean energy: ending fossil fuel production in New Zealand and commiting to 100% renewable electricity generation by 2025.
  •         An end to dirty investment: divesting the ACC and Superannuation funds out of fossil fuel companies.
  •         A new clean economy: a minimum carbon price of $25 and establishing a Green Investment Bank to mobilise public and private investment in the clean economy.

“The Green Party has put forward a pragmatic plan for cutting domestic climate pollution that supports locally produced energy and clean sectors of the economy. The Government is more than welcome to use it,” Mrs Turei said. 

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