Merkel’s visit highlights our embarrassing record on climate

The Green Party is calling on John Key to emulate Germany’s record on addressing climate change, on the eve of the visit by Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel.

Germany has adopted smart economic measures to address climate change resulting in a 24 percent reduction in net emissions since 1990. New Zealand’s net emissions have increased by 88 percent over the same time period.

“John Key likes to have his picture taken standing alongside global leaders yet is failing to show true leadership when it comes to major global issues like climate change,” said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“Compared to Germany, our record on climate change is embarrassing.

“Since 1990, Germany has demonstrated that you can have a strong economy while reducing harmful emissions. Germany has reduced their net emissions by 24 percent while ours have gone up 88 percent.

“Strong action on climate change has not left Germany worse off. Germans enjoy much higher wages, longer holidays, and higher GDP per capita than New Zealand.

“We should be adopting smart, green economic measures like Germany to green our economy and help address climate change.

“At a minimum, we should adopt the European Union’s intention to cut emissions by at least 40 percent by 2030.

“Germany has a green development bank, KfW, which has been investing in clean energy and environmentally sustainable projects for the last 20 years. It has invested over €27 billion in projects that protect the environment and the climate.

“Germany used generous feed-in-tariffs to stimulate residential investment in solar energy. By 2008, Germany had more than 50 percent of the world’s installed solar power capacity producing about five percent of electricity generated nationally.

“Compared to New Zealand, Germany has only 1,630 annual average sunshine hours while New Zealand has about 2000 hours per year.

“The National Government say acting on climate change is a ‘luxury we cannot afford’, but one of the world's strongest economies proves them wrong.”

Link to UN climate emissions comparison between Germany and New Zealand: