The Green Party has welcomed the Paris climate agreement saying New Zealand must now honour the commitment it made in Paris with action at home.
“There’s no doubt this is an historic moment,” said Green Party Co-leader James Shaw, who is at the talks.
“It’s not a perfect deal by any means and there are lots of details to work out but it’s frankly an incredible achievement.”
The Paris Agreement commits all the countries of the world – including New Zealand – to bring their domestic policies in line with a goal of limiting global warming to 1.5C.
“All eyes are now on the National Government to see if it shifts its stance on climate in line with the deal,” said Mr Shaw.
“For the last seven years the National Government has soft-peddled on climate change. With the Paris Agreement that has to change.
“If we are to hold up our end of the deal, the National Government needs to urgently commit to a range of measures to reduce pollution.
“The Government’s plans for more oil drilling, more coal and more motorways are incompatible with the Paris Agreement.
“What Paris has shown is that the world is moving only in one direction, and that is towards a low-carbon future. Countries like the US and China are at the forefront of that shift. New Zealand needs to catch up.”
Mr Shaw said on many issues the New Zealand Government was out of step with other developed countries, with its “inadequate” target for reducing pollution, and reliance on buying offshore credits, rather than achieving actual pollution cuts at home.
“What was palpable in Paris was that most countries have moved beyond foot-dragging on climate and are now entering an action phase. We haven’t seen this shift yet in New Zealand. We sincerely hope the Paris Agreement sparks the necessary change," Mr Shaw said.
“If there’s ever a time to stop making excuses, it’s now.”