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National’s two-faced approach to climate talks

The National Government’s desperate attempts in the final hours of the Paris climate negotiations to ‘buy the right to keep polluting’ shows their two-faced approach to climate change, the Green Party said today.

“The Government should be applauded today for supporting the more ambitious target to limit global temperature rises to 1.5 degrees Celsius, but it’s embarrassing to watch them continue to undermine global efforts at the same time,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

New Zealand negotiators have focused all their attention in the final hours of talks to ensure the agreement allows widespread access to carbon trading markets. New Zealand has used carbon markets historically to meet emission targets by paying other counties to cut their emissions so we can continue to pollute.

New Zealand is the only country in the world to have said that if it doesn’t get access to markets it will back down on its pledge to cut emissions, and this is totally embarrassing.

“National wants to keep growing a pollution based economy, and using carbon markets would allow them to kick responsibility for cutting pollution onto future governments and future generations.

“While carbon markets will likely be allowed in the final Paris agreement, it’s now widely accepted that trading pollution must stop in the next few years as there is simply no more scope to emit greenhouse gases.

“The big players like the US, the EU and China don’t plan to outsource their emissions and have little interest in international carbon markets.

“National has got to get to grips with reality. They can’t rely on carbon trading indefinitely. They have to come up with a plan to cut emissions at home starting now. So far we’ve seen nothing but talk of far off technology solutions.

“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,” said Mrs Turei.